Suspected fraudster in self-isolation

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Blessing Masakadza

SUSPECTED fraudster Tonderai Saurombe, who allegedly swindled a local car dealer of
US$71 000 after selling him smuggled vehicles, is in self-isolation at Harare Remand Prison.

Yesterday, a bail application was made by his lawyer in his absence after reports of his isolation following exposure to a suspected coronavirus (Covid-19) suspect. He will know the ruling today as it could not be delivered yesterday for verification of claims made by his lawyer.

Saurombe, 35, is alleged to have supplied illegally imported vehicles to businessman Patrick Siyawamwaya, which were later confiscated by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) after it was discovered that proper channels were not followed .

It is alleged that sometime in September 2019, Saurombe approached Siyawamwaya and misrepresented that he was selling four procedurally imported Nissan NP300 vehicles.

Siyawamwaya, who is a registered car dealer, became interested in the deal and told Saurombe that he was going to collect money from his office.

Allegations are that Saurombe then connived with one Majakwara, who is on the run, and supplied Siyawamwaya with four smuggled vehicles, who paid them US$71 000. Saurombe acknowledged the payment by signing some documents.

The court heard that it was later discovered that the vehicles had been smuggled into the country and fraudulently registered by Saurombe and his accomplice and they were confiscated by Zimra.

This prompted the complainant to approach the police after he had waited patiently for close to one year without redress.

It is Saurombe’s argument that his alleged accomplice, Majakwara, is a suspect in another vehicle deal in which he is the complainant and, thus, cannot be said to be his colleague.

Prosecutor Lancelot Mutsokoti appeared for the State.

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