Two women up for $120k extortion
TWO women from Harare’s Avenues area have been arrested on allegations of detaining a man, undressing him and extorting $120 000 from him as compensation for spending a day with one of them.
Lawrence Mberi reportedly picked up one of the ladies, Faith Catherine Togara, and spent the night with her before spending another day with her having drinks. She later allegedly refused to be left at her home, demanding money as compensation.
Togara is jointly charged with Tariro Chorwira on allegations of extortion. The duo was remanded out of custody to July 14 on $1 000 bail each when they appeared before the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday.
On June 21, around 1am, Mberi was allegedly driving along Enterprise Road on his way home and met Togara, who then directed him to a block of flats in the Avenues where they had drinks until 4.30am.
They later went to Mbare where Mberi wanted to fix his vehicle. He invited two friends to have beers with them while waiting for the car to be repaired.
It was alleged that around 6pm, one of Mberi’s friends drove Togara to her place using his vehicle and upon arrival she declined to disembark.
Mberi followed them to the flat and was asked to meet Togara’s sister, who happened to be Chorwira.
Mberi and Togara then entered Chorwira’s room at the flat and she allegedly locked the door and started screaming for help from her friends.
It was alleged that three other women came and started dragging Mberi to another room, demanding money as compensation for spending the day with Togara.
It was alleged Togara searched Mberi and took his two cellphones and wallet. She undressed him intending to shoot photos of him in the nude. Mberi was allegedly detained for the whole night by the ladies before he decided to take Togara to his house to fetch money. Togara allegedly phoned three men to accompany her to Mberi’s place.
Upon arrival at Mberi’s home, Togara allegedly demanded US$2 000 from the complainant’s wife as payment for drugs which she claimed Mberi had taken from her.
It was alleged she demanded that Mberi do a mobile money transfer of $100 000 into her sister’s account, but the transaction failed due to network problems. On their way from the house, one of Togara’s back-up men called a foreign exchange company and the complainant attempted to transfer $29 990, but his cellphone battery went flat.
Chorwira forced Mberi to place his SIM card into her phone and made a mobile money transfer of $99 990 into the foreign exchange company. After the completion of the transaction, Togara handed back to Mberi his two cellphones and dumped him in Mt Pleasant.
Mberi later switched on one of his phones and discovered that an additional $17 250 had been transferred to Chorwira’s cellphone and a further $3 000 sent to Togara’s number.
The complainant allegedly suffered a prejudice of $120 240.
Prosecutor Nyikadzino Machingura appeared for the State.