HARARE. — Detectives arrested a Harare businessman Tendekai Madongorere and his accomplice Julius Punungwe and seized 113 fake driving licence discs and certificates of competence with names of aspiring drivers, five fake defensive driving certificates, and five card printers used to produce the documents.
The police, who acted on a tip-off, also recovered fake blank national identity cards, one fake Zimra tax clearance certificate, one fake deed of grant in respect of a Mufakose house, 29 copies of serialised birth record documents and nine copies of birth certificates.
It emerged that at least 113 aspiring drivers had paid US$250 each to the suspected fraudsters to be issued with driving licence discs in the comfort of their homes without undergoing the Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID) tests.
A fake Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) identity card in the name of Madongorere was also recovered together with fake Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) identity cards bearing the names of Innocent Kayo, Edmund Mhere and Tichaona Chijwanha.
The arrest of the suspects and the seizure of documents occurred barely three months after The Herald carried an investigative story in which fraudsters were advertising on social media that they can facilitate issuance of driving licences within hours.
On the advertisements, they would provide contact cellphone numbers to be used for enquiries.
Madongorere (48) is a director of Impact Designs Private Limited which operates in Harare’s central business district while Punungwe (47) is unemployed.
Detectives at Chitungwiza Police Station received information that some fraudsters were printing forged official documents selling them to people in Harare and Chitungwiza.
Acting on the tip-off, police arrested Madongorere in Harare with three blank fake international driver’s licence documents, fake birth record forms, five fake defensive driving certificates and a fake ZACC identity card bearing his name.
At his house in Waterfalls, police recovered 50 fake driving certificates of competence bearing the names of various clients, CIO identity cards, fake Covid-19 essential staff cards fake Cambridge O-Level and A-Level certificates, a desktop computer, 400 blank national identity cards, three fake diploma certificates, a fake Zimra tax clearance certificate, a fake title deed for a Mufakose property and other dubious papers.
Madongorere then implicated Punungwe who was subsequently arrested.
Police also recovered 58 fake metal driving licence discs bearing different names of clients, one date stamp, fake national identity cards and other fraudulent documents.
The two are in custody, having lost two freedom bids at Chitungwiza Magistrates’ Court and the High Court.
They are now back at Chitungwiza Court with a fresh freedom bid dubbed “application for bail pending trial on changed circumstances”.
A magistrate is yet to determine the application.