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Businessman loses US$40,000 to fraudster

HARARE businessman lost US$40 000 to a fraudster in a botched vehicle clearance deal.

The issue was heard yesterday by Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi when the accused, Maganga Robert Pembedza (43), appeared in court to answer to charges of theft.

The complainant, Exevia Maoneke, is a director at Executive Car Sales (Pvt) Ltd.

Pembedza was remanded to today for bail ruling.

It is alleged that in February this year, Maoneke imported two Toyata Hilux motor vehicles from Thailand and engaged Pembedza a month later to clear the motor vehicles at Beitbridge Border Post.

Maoneke then gave US$38 481 to Pembedza to pay for duty for the two cars.

In April, Pembedza went to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) offices with fake proof of payment and caused the clearance of the vehicles.

The matter came to light after Zimra discovered that no money was credited into its account as reflected on the proof of payment forwarded to it by Pembedza.

Preliminary investigations then unearthed the fake proof of payment presented to Zimra, which had a bank stamp dated April 1, 2019, yet the said transaction was done on April 13, 2021.

In September 2021, Maoneke was called to Zimra where he was notified that he had outstanding duty arrears.

He was made to pay US$29 634 as duty for the motor vehicles.

The accused allegedly defrauded the complainant of US$38 481 and $1 million, and only US$1 500 was recovered.

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