Businessman jailed for US$500k theft

Tendai Kamhungira

©️ A BINDURA magistrate has sentenced businessman Fradreck Utsiwegota to an effective seven years in jail after finding him guilty of swindling his Singaporean partner of mining equipment worth over US$500 000.

Magistrate Tinashe Ndokera initially sentenced Utsiwegota to 10 years in prison, before suspending three years of the sentence for five years on condition Utsiwegota behaves well.
Utsiwegota, 38, was facing theft of trust property charges.
Prosecutor Garudzo Ziyaduma said Utsiwegota and his partner Ramason Bupendra registered a company called Decade Mining (Private) Limited sometime in 2012, where they were both directors, together with David Barnet Silver.
A year later, Silver was barred, through a court order, from being involved in the company’s affairs, leaving Utsiwegota and Bupendra as the only directors of the company.
Bupendra later left for Singapore to attend to his other businesses, leaving Utsiwegota in charge of the firm.
During Bupendra’s absence, Utsiwegota sold stamp mills, a 120KVA generator, ABJ concentrators, a Toyota Hilux, a Mazda 3, Foton 7-tonne truck, eight electric motors, amalgam barrel, three compressors, five water pumps, two motorbikes, dumper truck and approximately 20 000 tonnes of gold dump tailings, which all belonged to the company.
Utsiwegota sold the equipment without Bupendra’s knowledge and consent.
The businessman, the court heard, entered into a joint venture with Utsi Mining (Private) Limited, which was represented by his cousin Emmanuel Utsiwegota, while Bupendra was away in Singapore.
According to court papers, Utsiwegota went into the joint venture agreement without a board resolution and without Bupendra’s knowledge and consent.
The court heard that as a result of the joint venture, Utsi Mining sued Decade Mining and obtained a default judgment, after Utsiwegota failed to oppose a lawsuit, thereby prejudicing Bupendra.



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