By Tendai Rupapa
Two daring criminals broke into Harare Central Police Station and stole payslips for police officers, before forging identification particulars which they used to secure loans from money lending institutions.
Edwin Ruzvidzo (29) and Timothy Machingauta (31) also accessed payslips for teachers and, using the same modus operandi, forged identity particulars and borrowed money from money lenders.
The duo’s luck ran out after they were arrested while trying to process a loan.
They had already pocketed over $16 000 through their fraudulent scheme.
The affected civil servants were surprised to find deductions on their salaries.
Machingauta and Ruzvidzo appeared before Ms Barbara Chimboza charged with several counts of fraud.
They were remanded in custody after Ms Chimboza ruled that they were not proper candidates for bail, considering that there was overwhelming evidence against them.
Prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa opposed bail.
It is the State’s case that between January and March this year, Machingauta and Ruzvidzo went to Harare Central Police Station and stole payslips belonging to different police officers.
It is not clear how they managed to gain entry into the offices where the payslips were kept.
They allegedly forged identity particulars of the affected police officers using the details on their payslips.
The pair allegedly took the payslips and the fake documents to various agents of Coverlink Financial Holdings and applied for loans.
It is the State’s case that they applied for loans ranging between $750 and $1 250 per person.
The duo also accessed payslips for several teachers and obtained loans from Coverlink Financial Holdings using the same method.
The matter came to light when the loan repayments were deducted from the victim’s salaries by the SSB and they stormed Coverlink Financial Holdings offices to seek explanations.
Machingauta and Ruzvidzo also took the payslips to Lic Micro Finance in Chitungwiza where they also applied for loans.
The pair fraudulently received $7 050 which they allegedly shared.
Machingauta is also facing an additional 10 counts of fraud in his individual capacity.
According to the State, after accessing payslips for various police officers and teachers, Machingauta forged their identity particulars and approached another financial institution and applied for loans on different occasions.
In total, Machingauta applied for and received $9 950.
He was arrested while attempting to make another loan application using fake documents.
An alert employee scrutinised the documents and noticed that they were fake, and alerted his superiors. The Herald