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Fraudster bags US$70 000, 1 million rand

A Bulawayo businessman lost 1,3 million rands while another businessman based in the United States of America lost US$70 000 to a city fraudster who disappeared after swindling the two in two separate incidents, police said yesterday.

Inspector Precious Simango
Inspector Precious Simango

Police in Bulawayo have launched a manhunt for Simangaliso Sibanda (28) of Luveve suburb who allegedly defrauded prominent city businessman Mr Ashton Mpofu of more than R1 000 000 in a botched bus tender and Mr Mater Khoum of US$70 000 in a gold deal.

Bulawayo police spokesperson Chief Inspector Precious Simango said the crimes were committed between January 2017 and April 2018.

“Police in Bulawayo are investigating two cases of fraud which occurred in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province during the period extending from January 2017 to April 2018.

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“The police received two fraud cases which occurred in Bulawayo where two complainants lost large sums of money. Complainant 1 lost US$ 70 000 and complainant 2 lost R1 300 000 00,” she said.

Chief Insp Simango said sometime in April 2018, Sibanda misrepresented to Mr Khaoum of Algafila Private Limited Company based in the US that he would facilitate the purchase of gold.

“Acting on the misrepresentation, the complainant then gave the accused person US$70 000 towards the purchase of the gold and he failed to avail the gold resulting in the complainant suffering prejudice,” she said.

In the second case, police say Sibanda misrepresented to Mr Mpofu that he was in a position to avail buses and the complainant paid 1, 3 million rands upfront for the buses and he failed to deliver the buses resulting in the latter making a report.

Chief Insp Simango appealed to anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of Sibanda whose last known address is 818 Old Luveve, Bulawayo, to contact them.

“He is not employed. The accused person is slim built, tall and dark in complexion.

“Police are therefore appealing to anyone with any information regarding his whereabouts to contact the Officer-in-Charge CID Commercial Crime Division, Chief Inspector Alford Nyasha on (0292) -78446/0772 982 787,” she said.

Chief Insp Simango said they can also contact the investigating officer Detective Sergeant Nyabadza on mobile number 0778 944 245 or any nearest police station. The Chronicle