Serial fraudster jailed 27 months

Tamary Chikiwa

A 50-YEAR-OLD Bulawayo serial fraudster has been jailed for 27 months for allegedly duping a number of people of US$1 500.
Elias Phiri appeared at the Western Commonage Magistrates’ Court facing four counts of fraud. Magistrate Jeconiah Ncube suspended six months of Phiri’s jail term on condition he pays back the money.

Prosecutors told the court that Phiri posed as a property owner and businessman to lure his victims into parting with the money. On the first count, between October 18 and 22, 2018, Phiri misrepresented himself as a car dealer to Shadreck Mapurisa of Nkulumane suburb.

“Phiri sent photos of a vehicle he claimed to be selling and asked Mapurisa to deposit US$1 191.50 to his mobile money wallet. Soon after the transfer, he was no longer reachable,” prosecutors said.

Phiri also tricked another victim as he misrepresented himself as a diesel dealer and stole US$150. He switched off his mobile without delivering the diesel.

“On the third count, Phiri duped Esther Chihwizi of R600 after he claimed to be a landlord in Nketa 6 suburb in need of a tenant,” prosecutors said.

When the would-be tenant deposited some money, Phiri switched off his phone. On the fourth count, Phiri posed as a grocery dealer and duped Neuman Mpofu of Nkulumane 12 of US$150.

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