By Andile Tshuma
A Bulawayo man suspected to be part of a syndicate that is fraudulently selling people’s houses was found with 32 national identity cards which he is suspected to have been using to illegally process property sales.
Thulani Ncube is being charged with 70 counts of being found in possession of articles used to commit crime.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube in an interview yesterday, said Ncube was assisting police in the Commercial Crimes Division with investigations as he had over 70 pending High Court applications involving a number of properties in the city.
“A man purporting to be Thulani Ncube around 40 years of age was arrested by police when he was found in possession of over 32 national identity documents belonging to various people who are property owners.
“This man was making some applications for houses. He would either obtain illegal identity documents, forge signatures and particulars in respect of the houses that he would target for sale to unsuspecting home seekers,” said Inspector Ncube.
Ncube would allegedly approach the High Court for eviction orders so that he would make occupants vacate premises that he would have earmarked for sale.
He targeted properties whose owners are in the diaspora, especially where tenants do not know the owner of the house and rental payments are made to relatives or put in bank accounts.
“He would make applications to the High Court and pay fees of up to $50 so that he gets the application to evict the occupants of the houses. He has since been arrested and is assisting police with investigations.
“We are calling upon members of the public to come to CID Commercial Crimes Division to check on those IDs and if ever you see one that is yours, we work on the issues,” Inspector Ncube said.
“This also goes to property owners as there are a number of properties that have been listed as having been sold by fictitious people who do not even exist. They use stolen IDs to process the transactions.”
Inspector Ncube said the Commercial Crimes Division was looking into how Ncube may have been acquiring the IDs after noticing that most of them looked new.
“We are still investigating how he actually got those IDs because some look fairly new, indicating that he may be writing some affidavits or obtaining in his own name some of the IDs, and is targeting only those who own properties that he envies. Investigations are in progress,” said Inspector Ncube.
An online search showed the suspect used the name Thulani Ncube on Facebook. There was only one picture and very few posts. The Chronicle