Bogus cement dealers flee country In a statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said most fatal road accidents involved private motor vehicles and in some instances pedestrians were victims.

Crime Reporter

The two suspected fraudsters who fleeced more than 70 people of US$300 000 in a cement supply scam and splurged their loot on fancy cars are believed to have fled the country, with South Africa the most likely destination.

Victims of the scam have been left counting huge losses while Andy Baleni, alias Mambondini, and Tinashe Zimunya have been flaunting their ill-gotten luxury vehicles on social media.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and police are now hunting down the suspects and are likely to engage Interpol and other forces in the region in efforts to account for them.

The two recently ran advertisements in the media alleging that they were selling cement at a very low price in Harare, coupled with free delivery for bulk orders anywhere in Zimbabwe. Dozens of people fell for the scam and paid money that has been spent on luxury vehicles, if images circulating on social media are anything to go by.

They were operating a shop known as Koffie and King Hardware situated along Mbuya Nehanda Street in Harare.

They advertised through social media platforms and radio stations purporting to be selling the cement at lower prices and attractive concessions such as payment plans.

This resulted in several people responding and paying after being falsely promised they would get their cement after seven days.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday said they were still looking for the suspects.

“We are still looking for the suspects and still appealing for information leading to their arrest,” he said.

On reports that they had skipped the border, Asst Comm Nyathi said he was yet to get the details from the investigating teams.

In a statement recently, ZACC confirmed that they were looking for the two suspects in connection with the case.

“The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is looking for Andy Baleni, popularly known as Mambondini, and Tinashe Zimunya for fraud,” said ZACC. “The last known address of these two was 363 Harare Drive, Pomona and both are the directors of Koffie N King Corporation.

“The accused persons lured hundreds of people through an advert they flighted on ZBC radio stations purporting to sell heavily discounted cement at US$7,80 per bag. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of these criminals kindly report to ZACC either via our social media platforms Twitter, Facebook or WhatsApp line 0719529483, or our landlines 024 2369602/5/8/14.”

Last week, Asst Comm Nyathi said, “The Zimbabwe Republic Police is concerned with fraud cases involving purported sale of cement “on special offer” to unsuspecting members of the public through advertisements on social media and radio stations by a company known as Koffie and King Hardware allegedly situated at 10 Mbuya Nehanda Street, Harare.

“The suspects, Andy Baleni also known as Mambondini whose last known address is Flat 3 Glen Lorne, Chishawasha, Harare and Tinashe Zimunya advertised cement on radio and social media platforms at very low prices and alleged special offers thereby luring the unsuspecting transacting public.

“Delivery of the purported cement was said to be done within seven days after payment for the consignment. Resultantly, more than 70 victims fell for the scam and were defrauded approximately US$300 000. The Zimbabwe Republic Police is now appealing for information which may lead to the arrest of the accused persons.”

Asst Comm Nyathi implored members of the public to exercise due diligence before making any payments as this scam was now pointing fingers to the possibility of a pyramid scheme through the alleged sale of cement.

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