Four years jail for $40k fraud

HARARE - A 28-year-old man has been sent to prison for four years for attempting to defraud Rainbow Towers Hotel of $40 000.

Tafadzwa Shangwa used fake Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) instructions to transfer funds into an Allied Bank account he had created using an alias.

Magistrate Tendai Mahwe had slapped him with five years in jail but suspended one year on condition Shangwa does not commit a similar offence.

The court heard that on February 19 this year, acting in connivance with Micheal Fernando Meza who is still at large, Shangwa opened an Allied Bank account using fraudulent documents for the purposes of committing fraud.

The duo opened the account in the name of Guard Alert (Pvt) Ltd in which they misrepresented to the bank officials that they were Patrick Chuma and Moffat Banda respectively.

Having opened the account, the two went on to forge a RTGS instruction to transfer $10 000 from the Rainbow Towers Hotel’s Stanbic Bank account to their Allied Bank account.

On April 22, they also raised two more RTGS instructions to transfer $30 000 and the instructions were processed.

The court heard that all four RTGS instructions were delivered to Stanbic Bank’s Sam Levy branch by Shangwa who lied to the bank official attending to him that he was under instruction from Mavis Mhaka, the finance manager at Rainbow Towers and also a signatory to the account.

To further buttress his fraud, Shangwa produced a metal identity document belonging to Mhaka.

On April 23, Shangwa went to Allied Bank’s Robert Mugabe branch to enquire the balance in their account, but when he tendered his ID in the name of Patrick Chuma, the bank official noticed the differences in faces.

This prompted him to bolt out of the bank, but he returned the next day and raised a cash withdrawal of $30 000 which was on Guard Alert letterhead and tendered it with a copy of a passport that bore the name of Chuma but with Shangwa’s face.

It is the State’s case that on April 24, Shangwa’s account had already been blacklisted resulting in his arrest.

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