$19m Econet loot sold on black market

By Staff reporter | 04 Apr 2020 at 12:46hrs
Two suspected fraudsters, both employees of Econet Wireless have appeared in court facing charges of stealing RTGS$19 984 475 which is probably the biggest fraud ever to hit the country's telecommunications giant.

Chipinge magistrate Poterai Gwezhira was told by the State that the amount was exchanged on the black market for foreign currency through street vendors. Analysts said that the amount is huge and was a significant factor in the fall of the RTGS$ against the US$.

The two suspects are Mukai Maringe Mapanzure (35), a sales consultant at the Chipinge Branch which is housed at the NSSA Complex and Trymore Chimoyo (30), a brand ambassador for Econet based at Checheche.

Mapanzure appeared in court on Monday while his alleged accomplice Chimoyo appeared on Wednesday. They were ordered to pay $10 000 bail each and Mapanzure to stay at 4170 Medium Density Chipinge and Chimoyo at 213H Checheche Growth Point They will report to the Police on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The State alleges that Mapanzure directly siphoned the money from Econet and sent it out to foreign currency agents to transfer it into foreign currency. Chimoyo who acted as an accomplice allegedly collected the foreign currency from street vendors and surrendered it to Mapanzure.

The State papers reads; "During the period extending from December 30, 2019 to 21 March 2020, the accused who is employed by Econet Wireless as a sales consultant based at Chipinge Branch hatched a plan to steal from his employer. In his capacity as an employee with the ability to access the company's EZW merchant mobile broadband merchant number 0784953460, created a sim card for the complainant's merchant number and processed a private identification number to access the account. He also created two agent numbers 0771378844 and 0785042806 and registered them in fictitious names of Nyachidze Primary School and Ariston Holdings respectively. He inserted the counterfeit sim card for merchant number 0784953460 in his mobile cellphone with IMEI number 359725084071720 and misinterpreted as if he was the real owner of the account mandated to effect withdrawals. He transferred large sums of ecocash RTGS on different times to merchant number 0785042806 and 0771378844 thereby causing actual prejudice to the complaint of $5 186 000-00,"

It is understood that the full prejudice came to light when Chimoyo was arrested.

"The accused person on different times collected forex from street vendors who had received large sums of money from the actual perpetrator. He transformed large sums of realised ecocash RTGS on different times and handed the money to the accomplice thereby facilitating disposal of cash prejudicial to the complainant of RTGS$19 984 475- 00," read part of the State papers against Chimoyo.



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