Navistar bosses further remanded in custody

HARARE - A Harare magistrate has denied bail to three Navistar Insurance Brokers (Private) Limited (Navistar) bosses, linked to the Air Zimbabwe (Private) Limited (Air Zimbabwe) fraud case.

Givemore Nderere, 45, Vukile Hlupo, 45 and Orten Mawire, 60, were remanded in custody to March 4 by Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe.

They are facing four counts of fraud and theft of trust property charges.

Mahwe said the trio could abscond trial if released on bail because they were facing a serious offence.

“Accused persons are facing a serious offence and State case appears strong. They are a flight risk considering the huge amount of money involved,” Mahwe said. Nderere and Hlupo are directors of Navistar, while Mawire is the finance director.

State claims the trio connived with Air Zimbabwe bosses Peter Chikumba and Grace Nyaradzai Pfumbidzai to defraud the national airline by inflating aviation insurance premiums.

It is alleged the group presented several inflated debit notes to the airline, leading to payments of exorbitant aviation insurance premiums last year.

The payments were allegedly made to Colemont Reinsurance (Private) Limited and Marsh Reinsurance Brokers (Private) Limited, both United kingdom-based companies.

Prosecutor Michael Reza told the court that as a result of the misrepresentation, the airline’s finance department released 15 783 452, 93 euros to Navistar.

According to State papers, Navistar only remitted 10 607 859, 22 euros to the two international brokers and pocketed 5 895 695, 49 euros.

In May 2009, it is alleged Navistar received $142 300 from the airline for onward transmission to the European Commission to dodge sanctions. They allegedly converted the money to their own use.

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