Bogus cop in $900 extortion scam

HARARE - A Waterfalls man masqueraded as a Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officer and defrauded a motorist of $900 saying he could help him recover an impounded vehicle.

Brighton Magoto, 40, appeared before Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe facing extortion charges.

He was remanded to April 14 on $100 bail.

Magoto was ordered not to interfere with State witnesses and reside at 13 Fraiser Road Watefalls in Harare.

Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira alleged that on March 11 this year, Elias Gwatidzo had his BMW motor vehicle impounded by detectives from Vehicle Theft Squad (VTS) Southerton Harare because it was not properly registered.

Gwatidzo was then referred to Magoto by his friend Joseph Matemba after narrating the ordeal to him.

Magoto told Gwatidzo that he was a detective at VTS and could facilitate the release of his vehicle if he paid $1 500.

Gwatidzo managed to raise $200 and gave it to Magoto who told him that he had managed to convince his officer-in-charge, detective Zulu, to reduce the amount to $900.

Magoto advised the complainant to pay the money that very day for immediate release of his vehicle.

On March 12, Gwatidzo met Magoto at a food court along Simon Mazorodze Road in Harare and gave him $700 as the balance.

Gwatidzo later realised that Magoto was not a police officer after he had failed to secure his car.

Gwatidzo lost $900 due to the alleged misrepresentation and nothing was recovered.

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