Seed firm loses $240k to fraud­ster

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Crime & Courts - Court Re­porter

A LO­CAL seed com­pany al­legedly lost maize seed worth over $200 000 to a sus­pected fraud­ster who later sold the seed to maize deal­ers.

Glazener Much­abaiwa (44) is said to have mis­rep­re­sented to Klein Ka­roo Seed Mar­ket­ing Zim­babwe of­fi­cials that he was em­ployed by a non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion which was look­ing for 180 tonnes of maize seed to buy.

It is al­leged he fur­ther lied to Klein Ka­roo Seed that it had won the ten­der to sup­ply the seed and the com­pany then de­liv­ered 90 met­ric tonnes of maize seed to Much­abaiwa worth $239 000 on credit.

Much­abaiwa on Wed­nes­day ap­peared be­fore mag­is­trate Ms Nomsa Saba­rauta charged with fraud.

He was re­manded in cus­tody to to­day for bail ap­pli­ca­tion.

He is be­ing rep­re­sented by Mr Ray­mond Nembo of Nembo At­tor­neys.

The prose­cu­tor, Ms Linda Gadzikwa al­leged that some­time in Au­gust, Much­abaiwa hatched a plan to de­fraud Klein Ka­roo Seed Mar­ket­ing Zim­babwe.

He al­legedly cre­ated a fic­ti­tious email ad­dress, pro­cure­ment@heifer­in­ter.org, and sent an email to Klein Ka­roo Seed Mar­ket­ing Zim­babwe pre­tend­ing to be a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion.

In the e-mail, Much­abaiwa al­legedly mis­rep­re­sented to Klein Ka­roo Seed of­fi­cials that his or­gan­i­sa­tion was look­ing for a com­pany that could sup­ply it with maize seed.

Act­ing on the mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion, the seed com­pany through their rep­re­sen­ta­tive Beauty Magiya, re­sponded to Much­abaiwa’s email declar­ing their in­ter­est to sup­ply the seed.

It is the State’s case that af­ter some time, Much­abaiwa sent an­other e-mail to Magiya ad­vis­ing her that Klein Ka­roo Seed Mar­ket­ing Zim­babwe had won the ten­der to sup­ply the seed ahead of other seed com­pa­nies.

He fur­ther in­formed Magiya that his em­ployer wanted Klein Ka­roo seed to sup­ply a to­tal of 180 tonnes of maize seed.

Ac­cord­ing to the State, Much­abaiwa told Magiya that the maize seed was to be de­liv­ered in Kwekwe.

The seed com­pany man­aged to de­liver 90 tonnes of maize, which were al­legedly re­ceived by Much­abaiwa in Kwekwe and the money was to be paid later, the court heard.

Soon af­ter re­ceiv­ing the maize seed, Much­abaiwa al­legedly took it back to Harare and hid it at a farm called Strath Farm. It is fur­ther al­leged that Much­abaiwa started sell­ing the maize seed to agro-deal­ers.

He be­came eva­sive when Klein Ka­roo Seed de­manded their pay­ment, prompt­ing the com­pany to re­port to the po­lice.

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