Pension scammers in court

14 Jul, 2022 - 00:07 0 Views
Pension scammers  in court Mr Chenjerai Kangausaru was ordered to deposit $30 000 bail coupled with various conditions when he appeared before Karoi Magistrate, Ms Moreblessing Makati. 

The Herald

Nyore MadzianikeSenior Court Reporter 

A SYNDICATE that used fake identity cards to steal the identity of retired civil servants and then steal their lump sum pension payouts appeared in court yesterday.

David Madzinga (40), Samson Chome (69), Luckmore Matuku (36) and Isaac Mafa (41), all of Harare, appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje charged with fraud after they allegedly stole the pensions of seven retired Government employees.

They were not asked to plead to the charges and were remanded in custody for bail application. Prosecuting, Mr Moses Mapanga said the gang hatched a plan in 2016 to steal the identity and pensions of Government pensioners, with Chome, Matuku and Mafa moving around the country to execute the criminal activities.

Mafa would provide bank account numbers, national identity numbers, dates of birth and banking details of Government pensioners who had received their lump-sum pension payouts to the syndicate. Most of the victims used CBZ Bank, according to the State.

Forged ID cards with the details of the victims but the face of a syndicate member were created and Chome, Matuku and Mafa would allegedly approach Econet agents, mainly in smaller towns, and apply for SIM card replacements. Their victims lost their network connections in this process and the gang member could now assume their identity on the network.

It is said that they would then log in to CBZ touch mobile banking platform and claim a PIN. The bank would ask them their particulars but Madzinga, Chome and Matuku had these and would enter their victims’ national identity number, account number and mobile number.

CBZ would then send a PIN straight to their mobile phones and they could take control of a victim’s bank account. The court heard that they would then withdraw all the money from the account and go on to buy foreign currency on the black market.

Davy Gwenya, a retired police officer, fell victim to the suspects and lost $1 159 956,75 in a pension payout that was processed on February 25 this year.

According to the State, Gwenya had $1 081 318,75 in his bank account as of March 4. He lost network connectivity the next day when the four used the forged ID to get the replacement line and on March 7 approached Econet and was advised to replace his line. He was then shocked to receive a transaction alert message indicating that his bank balance was $768,80.

Police investigations revealed that Madzinga, Chome and Matuku travelled to Masvingo on March 4 where they hacked into Gwenya’s account.

Tsitsi Bheketi, a retired Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services officer, lost $1 129 054,03 which she had received as pension in October last year and they allegedly transferred $929 000 from her account.

Former police officerEnnie Rudo Chawatama received $223 58012 as pension and was only left with $3 780.12 after the quartet withdrew the money using the same modus operandi.

Christina Murombo, a retired teacher, lost $172 652’18 to the quartet in the same fashion.

Stanley Ndlovu, a retired Ministry of Higher Education employee had $895 692.42 in his CBZ Bank and only realised the scam after noticing a balance of $141 000 in his account.

It is said that while he was on his way to CBZ Gwanda branch, another $130 000 was deducted from his account.

On arrival to the bank, he discovered that a total $857 800 had been withdrawn from his bank account.

Malvern Dhunhuki, a former soldier, had $1 989 753,92 in his CBZ Bank account and lost $1 682 000 in the same fashion.

Ntombiyolwazi Ngwekazi had $2 083 159,39 in her CBZ bank but was shocked when she received a message notifying her that her bank balance was $6 394,32.

She lost $1 803 322 to the suspects after they withdrew the money from her bank account.

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