Bail ruling for Zimdef suspects on Monday

Source: Bail ruling for Zimdef suspects on Monday | The Herald (Crime & Court News)

Detective Chief Inspector Chironda also revealed that her team was working towards establishing the role played by Gerald Pondai, Pride Hove and a Kenyan, Primrose Nyeri Mwangi, who are appearing in court on allegations of hacking the Zimdef accounts. 

Senior Court Reporter 

THE police are yet to identify the actual people who hacked the Zimbabwe Development Fund (Zimdef)’s bank accounts and siphoned $120 million from two banks, although having arrested three in connection with the scam.

Officer-in-Charge CID Commercial Crimes Northern Region division, Tendai Chironda, yesterday told the court that they were still conducting investigations to ascertain the exact person who hacked Zimdef accounts.

Detective Chief Inspector Chironda also revealed that her team was working towards establishing the role played by Gerald Pondai, Pride Hove and a Kenyan, Primrose Nyeri Mwangi, who are appearing in court on allegations of hacking the Zimdef accounts. 

Pondai and Hove are charged with fraud and money laundering while Mwangi is charged with fraud and violating the visiting permit.

They were not asked to plead to the charges when they appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje. Testifying against the trio in their bail applications, Det Chief Insp Chironda told the court that they were made to believe that they committed the offence after finding out they received part of the $120 million without rendering any service to Zimdef.

She said after receiving the money, Pondai, Hove and Mwangi went on to purchase various groceries.

Det Chief Insp Chironda told the court that Pondai, Hove and Mwangi were flight risks.

She said Pondai has two other pending criminal cases before the same court and was likely to abscond trial once granted bail.

Det Chief Insp Chironda testified that Mwangi was facing another criminal offence and would flee to her country once released on bail.

In their bail applications, Pondai and Hove told the court that the money they received was payment for services rendered to TelOne through their company Artrier Engineering.

They claimed that they were owed nearly $70 million and the $50 million received was part of the debt.

Pondai and Hove claimed the police should have not arrested them in the absence of an internal investigation at Zimdef.

They said the police should have conducted an investigation at Zimdef and the banks involved before arresting them.

The duo argued that there was need for an audit, which identifies who could have logged onto the Zimdef system.

They also said police should have identified the person who gave the banks the mandate to transfer the money, before arresting them.

Mwangi said the money she received was deposited by a client who was purchasing air tickets.

She runs Maffkett Private Limited Company and Primkett Travel and Tours in Harare.

She told the court that she gave police names of the client who purchased four tickets from her company.

Pondai, Hove and Mwangi are expected back in court on Monday for their bail ruling.

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