Mike Harris faces multiple fraud charges

HARARE – A Harare magistrate yesterday granted $200 bail to businessman Mike Harris Divaris Chiyangwa who is facing multiple counts of fraud.

Chiyangwa appeared before Harare magistrate Josephine Sande.

As part of bail conditions, he was ordered to continue residing at his present address and not interfere with witnesses and investigations.

Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa alleged that on September 8, Chiyangwa approached the first complainant who is a car dealer and indicated that he could assist him acquire United States (US) dollars.

It was alleged that the two met at Harare Main Post Office and Chiyangwa showed the complainant the money.

The court heard that Chiyangwa advised the car dealer to transfer $2 000 into his account and he complied.

Chiyangwa then claimed he had not received a notification confirming successful transfer of the money and promised to honour his part of the deal after seeing the message.

After parting ways, the court heard, Chiyangwa became evasive, prompting the complainant to file a police report on October 29.

On the second count, Chiyangwa purported to be Chris Ngodzo and told the complainant that he wanted to make payment to a company in Harare and would pay the equivalent in rands to the complainant’s South African company.

The two agreed and the complainant transferred $2 600 to a Stewart Bank account belonging to Raymond T Chiyangwa. He then sent Chiyangwa proof of payment and advised him to transfer his share to First National Bank, the court heard.

That day, Chiyangwa allegedly sent an ABSA bank confirmation as proof of payment of R75 000 which was more than the agreed R41 184.

It was further alleged that Chiyangwa then asked complainant to transfer $1 500 to Delney Karidza using EcoCash but he only managed to send $140.

When the complainant realised that Chiyangwa had not sent him any money, he confronted him but he claimed there was a network problem and asked for a different bank account to instantly perform the transfer.

Chiyangwa sent another fake proof of payment purporting he had paid the full amount.

The matter was reported to the police, with the complainant suffering $2 740 prejudice.

According to State papers, Chiyangwa further used cloned debit and credit cards before going for shopping at various retail outlets.

The offence came to light after legitimate card owners began receiving notifications on their mobile phones that their accounts were being debited.

This prompted them to make police reports. Chiyangwa was then arrested after allegedly blowing $10 295,36 from the complainants’ accounts.