Victor Maphosa Herald Correspondent
POLICE have arrested a Harare man for allegedly manufacturing counterfeit Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) staff identity cards for sale to fraudsters who used them to enjoy free rides.
Farai Sangombe was arrested by a team of detectives working with the transport utility’s loss control officers.
ZUPCO bus crews usually offer free rides to their colleagues and employees of other bus companies that are part of the mass public transport system.
The conmen took advantage of this arrangement to defraud the bus company through the use of the fake cards.
Police are yet to confirm the arrest, but The Herald has established that a docket was opened under CR701/02/2020.
The man was arrested after an undercover ZUPCO loss control officer approached him and asked him to produce an identity card for him.
The ZUPCO employee was allegedly charged $80 for the service.
“After the fake ID was produced, the police arrived and identified themselves,” said a source. “Sangombe was subsequently arrested and he is now in police custody.”
The source said after the arrest, police found fake IDs for ZUPCO, Inter Africa and other bus companies in Sangombe’s bag.
“The trap money which he received from the ZUPCO loss control official was also recovered,” said the source.
The arrest of Sangombe comes barely a week after another man who posed as a ZUPCO employee was arrested for defrauding people of cash on the pretext that he could facilitate employment for them at the bus company.
“Again, the risk department set a trap for this person and nailed him,” said the source.
“The man (name supplied) went to the extent of advertising on social media that he was an agent for ZUPCO and was recruiting conductors, especially those without the minimum five Ordinary Level passes.
“The risk team got a tip-off and set a trap and he was caught. He was arrested and has since appeared in court.”
The source said the man was charging US$15 for his alleged services.