Kebbab night club owner 'cons' Israeli

HARARE - A night club owner connived with bogus cops to extort money from an Israeli businessman and mine owner, a Harare court has heard.

Edmore Zviitwa, who runs Kebbab night club in Harare, allegedly connived with three accomplices who are still at large and extorted $12 000 from Gilad Shabtai.

Zviitwa yesterday appeared before magistrate Tendai Mahwe on extortion charges.

The court heard Zviitwa sent his accomplices to Meikles Hotel where Shabtai was booked. Upon arrival, the court heard two of the alleged accomplices introduced themselves as police officers, while the other said he was a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) official.

According to State papers, the three were escorted to Shabtai’s room by a Meikles attendant.

Zviitwa’s accomplices accused Shabtai of failing to pay his workers and threatened to close his Chegutu mine.

The accomplices demanded $20 000 from Shabtai, before threatening him with detention if he failed to pay the money. Shabtai, the court heard, advised his friend Jacob Shwarts, who was booked in the same hotel, to call Zviitwa to come and assist him.

Zviitwa took his accomplices aside purporting to negotiate and later told Shabtai that they had agreed to reduce the amount to $12 000, the court heard.

According to State papers, Zviitwa offered to help Shabtai since he had no money in person.

The following day, Zviitwa allegedly lied to Shabtai that he had paid the money to the “cops” and wanted his refund. Shabtai gave Zviitwa $1 000 as a token of appreciation, according to State papers.

Shabtai became suspicious of the purported police officers and Zimra official and filed a police report leading to Zviitwa’s arrest. - Ivan Zhakata

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