HARARE - Spirit Embassy founder Uebert Angel fled the country after realising that his fraudulent acquisition and sale of a $300 000 worth Bentley Continental sedan had been uncovered, a magistrate heard yesterday.
This was revealed during the trial of Anderson Tagara, 35, of Zengeza 1 Chitungwiza who is answering to two counts for being an accessory to Angel after he had committed the fraud.
Prosecutor Editor Mavuto led evidence from Ndabazinenge Shava — the complainant in this matter.
Shava said he engaged Tagara to import the vehicle on his behalf and gave him $300 000 to cover all costs.
He said Angel called him a year after acquiring the said motor vehicle and advised him to ‘‘seed’’ the Bentley after being promised he would get it back thrice fold after eight months.
“After eight months, I started contacting Angel but he became evasive,” said Shava.
“I later learnt that my car was being driven by one Phibion who claimed to have bought it from Angel. That is when I reported the matter and the investigating officer showed me affidavits and an agreement of sale.
“...there was Tagara’s affidavit which portrayed him as the seller and that is when I realised that Tagara had connived with Angel to deprive me of my vehicle.
Tagara denied the allegations and claimed he acquired the Bentley using his “sole and exclusive funds”.
“It was only subsequent to the importation and registration of the motor vehicle in May 2012 that accused person was approached by Shava with an offer for the purchase of the motor vehicle,” said Tagara’s lawyer Itayi Ndudzo.
After successfully selling the vehicle to Shava, Tagara was later approached with an agreement of sale bearing his name as seller and Benjamin Mudzanire as purchaser.
It is Tagara’s defence that Shava then advised him that the Bentley had been sold to Mudzanire and since registration was in Tagara’s name the agreement of sale was required to divest him of ownership rights.
Tagara also argues that original motor vehicle purchase documents show that he only received money from Shava well after he had purchased it.
Prosecutor Editor Mavuto alleged that in February 2012, Shava intended to purchase a Bentley Continental sedan from the United Kingdom.
He engaged Tagara and the two entered a verbal agreement.
Between March 8, and 17 he gave Tagara $240 000 through Centrust Pvt (Ltd) a company directed by Willard Kafalimani.
Tagara then collected the money from Kalifani and imported the Bentley Continental sedan which he registered in his name on registration number ACO 1759.
He later gave the vehicle to Shava together with importation and registration papers.
Sometime in 2013, Shava lost the vehicle to Angel and made a police report.
Mavuto further alleged that between May and October 2013, Tagara connived with Angel and signed a fake agreement of sale to the effect that Benjamin Mudzanire had bought the said vehicle from Tagara for $76 000.
Mudzanire went on to deposit the fake documents to Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, police and Central Vehicle Registry who acted upon the misrepresentation and registered the vehicle in Angel’s name.
On December 16, last year detectives who were investigating fraud cases involving Angel and Mudzanire — who are still at large-recovered the fake agreement of sale.
Tagara was subsequently arrested.