US embassy ‘fraudster’ in court

30 January 2017

A suspected fraudster, who allegedly connived with three people to dupe Forltune Investments of US$280 000 which was meant to construct the United States of America’s Embassy offices in Westgate has appeared in court.

Gracious Mukucha, 30, last week appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa charged with fraud.

He was remanded in custody to February 10 for bail hearing.

Mukucha is expected to be jointly charged with Nyasha Matongorere, 30, Macmillian Chidziva, 34 and Fortune Magama, 49 who has since appeared in court on similar charges.

It is alleged that Chidziva and Masuku were responsible for sourcing clients, who supplied goods and services on behalf of Forltune Investments.

Circumstances leading to the arrest are that sometime in August 2016, Mukukucha and his accomplices connived to misrepresent to Forltune that Matongorere was a buyer of BL-Harbert International, a company which was engaged by USA Embassy to construct their offices in Westgate.

It is alleged that they indicated that he had the capacity to offer contracts of supplying goods and services to Forltune Investments since some of the contracted companies by BL-Harbert were financially incapacitated.

Mukucha and his team went on to indicate that there were some companies which had been offered contracts by BL-Harbert International but had no money to fund their contract hence they wanted Forltune Investments to fund them.

It is alleged that the complainant and the purported company would share profits and as result Forltune Investments accepted the offer.

The State represented by Michael Reza also alleges that on October 3, 2016, the trio misrepresented to the complainant Everule Investments that Elite Fuels had been offered contracts by BL-Harbert International at a cost of US$174 814.

As a result the two companies needed funding amounting to US$14 800 and US$99 600 respectively leading to the complainant transferring the money into their accounts.

It is alleged that after the transfer the trio withdrew the money, shared and converted it in to their own use.

It is said from October 3-25, 2016, they went on to misrepresent again that Premall Investments was also contracted at a cost of US$202 401 and as such it needed US$147 780 to fulfil the contract.

Forltune Investments is alleged to have transferred the money in the company’s account and the trio withdrew the money and shared it amongst themselves.

It is alleged that they went on to use the same modus operandi leading to the complainant transferring US$6 000 in to the account of an unnamed company.

It is alleged that the complainant was promised payment after the jobs were completed.

The complainant realised that the payments were not done and when he visited the construction site, he was told that all those transactions were fictitious.