Zvikomborero Parafini 

SERIAL fraudster Malvern Chimutashu has been convicted in a US$234 000 fraud case.

Chimutashu was already in custody for other similar fraud cases.

He was convicted after a full trial by magistrate Bianca Makwande.

The complainant is Universal Transport (Pvt) Ltd, represented by its operations director, Blessing Chanakira.

Chimutashu was sentenced to six years imprisonment, two of which are suspended on the condition that he restitutes the complainant US$103 000 by December 29.

Chimutashu had been on trial in this case since 2018.

The State proved that on June 13, 2017, Chanakira was informed by his friend Addmore Chitova that Chimutashu had bulk quantities of fuel for sale.

Chanakira contacted Chimutashu, who said he was the CEO of Vernmal Investments, and they had 225 000 litres of diesel in stock at their storage tanks in Msasa which were going for US$1.04 per litre.

Chanakira made an electronic bank transfer of US$234 000 and Chimutashu confirmed receipt.

Chimutashu transferred US$183 678,48 into the Fidelity Printers and Refiners account to purchase refined gold and to extinguish his debt. 

He then transferred the balance of US$50 300 into Andrew Jubane’s CABS account.

The parties then drove in Chimutashu’s vehicle to Msasa, and then to Fidelity Printers and Refiners.

While at Fidelity Printers and Refiners, Chimutashu started chatting with the staff and Chanakira overheard him talking about payment for gold, making reference to the transfer he had made.

Chanakira interjected indicating that he had no interest in gold dealings.

Chimutashu informed Chanakira that his business was involved in buying gold which it used to get fuel, but Chanakira refused, saying that wasn’t their agreement. 

Chimutashu then told Chanakira that he was reversing the deal and would instruct his young brother Andrew to prepare a letter to Fidelity Printers and Refiners for a reversal of the funds. 

Chanakira relaxed assuming that the reversal was effected until on June 14, 2017, when he visited Fidelity Printers, where he was told that Chimutashu had collected gold valued at US$90 447 and the remainder settled his debt.

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