Drama as Bulawayo man loses US$5,000 while counting money he had picked up with a stranger in Harare

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Harare conmen dupe visitor of US$5,000 in elaborate scam

In a distressing turn of events, a 20-year-old man from Bulawayo fell victim to a gang of conmen while visiting his brother in Harare, resulting in the loss of a substantial sum of US$5,000.

Moses Tserayi, the main suspect, appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Appollonia Marutya, facing charges of theft. He has been remanded in custody until Wednesday pending his bail application.

According to the State’s allegations presented in court, the incident unfolded on Thursday at the bustling Market Square Bus Terminus in Harare. Tinotenda Ndoro, who had disembarked from a Bulawayo-bound bus, was patiently awaiting his brother’s arrival at a nearby fast-food restaurant.

It was during this vulnerable moment that Tserayi and his associates approached Ndoro, enticing him with an enticing proposition. They claimed to have stumbled upon a considerable sum of lost cash, suggesting they share it equally among themselves.

Manipulating Ndoro’s trust, Tserayi convinced him to accompany them to the Kopje area of Harare, assuring him of privacy and ample time to distribute the money fairly. Unbeknown to Ndoro, this was the initial step in an elaborate scam.

Once they reached their destination, Tserayi and Ndoro decided to engage in prayer before dividing the money. However, as they were engaged in their religious observance, Tserayi’s alleged accomplices suddenly materialized, identifying themselves as police officers. They conducted a thorough search of both individuals, purportedly as part of standard procedure, and confiscated Ndoro’s US$5,000, as well as the counterfeit notes Tserayi had in his possession.

Adding to the intricate web of deception, another accomplice appeared at the scene and confirmed that Tserayi, not Ndoro, was the person who had discovered the misplaced money. Consequently, the supposed police officers exonerated Ndoro, albeit not without a single slap to his face, instructing him to flee the scene while leaving Tserayi at the mercy of his three alleged cohorts.

However, upon realizing the disappearance of his substantial sum, Ndoro swiftly retraced his steps and pursued the four suspects, eventually catching up with them as they were about to cross Abdel Gamal Nasser Road.

While the other three managed to escape back into the Kopje area, Tserayi was apprehended by an astute plainclothes police officer driving a private vehicle. A subsequent search of Tserayi’s person yielded the recovery of US$902, ZW$4,000, and two counterfeit US$100 notes. In total, the amount stolen amounted to US$5,000.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the prevalence of scams and the need for heightened vigilance when encountering unfamiliar individuals offering seemingly lucrative opportunities. As investigations continue and the legal process unfolds, authorities hope to bring all involved parties to justice and deter future instances of such fraudulent activities.

In a society that thrives on trust and community, individuals must remain cautious, particularly when approached by strangers promising instant wealth. By raising awareness and fostering a culture of skepticism towards suspicious propositions, we can collectively protect ourselves from falling prey to such nefarious schemes.

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