Prostitute blows fake US dollar ring
By Daniel Nemukuyu
A Mount Darwin commercial sex worker who rushed to the police after being paid for her services with a fake US$100 bill, exposed a Mukumbura man who had US$37 000 in counterfeit notes.
The woman took Filver Katiyo to the police after he gave her the fake note. At the police station, Katiyo implicated Shakie Gombo (39) of Zambezi Village in Mukumbura as the source of the money.
Gombo was yesterday slapped with an effective five-month prison term for possessing fake notes. Bindura regional magistrate Mr William Bhila had sentenced Gombo to 12 months in jail before conditionally setting aside seven months.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges when the one-day trial opened yesterday, but he was convicted on the basis of overwhelming evidence against him. Gombo said he got the “money” from a Harare man only identified as Ranga who wanted it taken to Mutare.
Gombo told the court that he was given the notes outside a bank in Harare. He said he was supposed to deliver the “money” to a Mutare man called Amon, who later refused to take it. He said he decided to use the notes after they had been rejected, insisting that he was not aware it was fake money.
But Mashonaland Central area prosecutor Mr Emmanuel Muchenga grilled him during cross-examination until the court was satisfied he was guilty of the offence. Established facts are that on April 27, at around 6am Katiyo paid the woman US$100 after spending a night with her at Rufaro Madondo Nightclub.
After 30 minutes, the woman discovered that the money was fake before making a police report. CID Mt Darwin arrested Katiyo who later revealed that Gombo was the source of the fake notes. Katiyo led detectives to Zambezi Village in Mukumbura where Gombo was arrested leading to the recovery of fake US$100 and US$50 notes totalling US$37 000.
Convicting Gombo, Mr Bhila said the fact that Gombo took the “money” personally to Mutare, if ever he did that, instead of sending it through the bank showed that the deal was shoddy.