By Leonard Ncube
An EcoCash agent based in Hwange has been arrested after he allegedly stole more than $12 000 in four days from 25 clients by duplicating their sim cards and PIN codes before transferring their money into his account.
Tafadzwa Taziveyi (23), whose address was not given but worked at Shanduka Econet shop in Hwange, allegedly committed the crime in connivance with an unnamed Information Technology (IT) specialist from the mobile operator’s head office in Harare.
The two allegedly shared the loot.
It is alleged that after identifying his target, Taziveyi would fraudulently replace the client’s sim card with a new one and PIN code before transferring money to his agent’s account without the knowledge of the owner.
Taziveyi was arrested last week following investigations after numerous complaints by people who had lost their money through the scam.
Taziveyi was not formally charged with theft when he appeared before Hwange magistrate Mrs Portia Mhlanga-Moyo. He was remanded in custody to tomorrow for routine remand.
Allegations as presented by Mr Onias Nyathi are that Taziveyi committed the crimes between September 29 and October 4.
“Between 29 September and 4 October, the accused connived with an accomplice who is still at large, to steal money from clients.
“The accused would identify possible targets when they (clients) would obtain sim cards and later replace their lines with new ones and reset the pin code,” said the prosecutor.
Armed with a new sim card and pin code for a client, Taziveyi would then allegedly transfer some money from the customer’s account into his account.
He would transfer part of the money to an accomplice in Harare who is still at large, the court heard.
An investigation was launched following numerous complaints to Econet Hwange branch resulting in Taziveyi’s arrest. The total amount stolen is $12 681 and $4 935 was recovered. The Chronicle