45 sim cards, 28 debit cards, 3 money counters and US$3,890 cash recovered at Mutsvangwa’s premises


Unlawful money transfer scheme busted in Zimbabwe

Three individuals have found themselves in hot water with the law after allegedly operating an unlicensed money transfer business that flouted Zimbabwe’s exchange control regulations.

Neville Sunungurai Mutsvangwa (44), Elias Majachani (45), and Simbarashe Tichingana (38) were hauled before the Harare Magistrates’ Court, facing a slew of charges related to their illicit financial activities.

Prosecutors allege that between January 2019 and May 2024, the trio established an unlicensed outfit called Mumba Money Transfer Services, which they advertised online to attract clients in the capital city. In doing so, they are said to have violated Zimbabwe’s Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering Act, as well as the Exchange Control Act.

According to court documents, the accused individuals employed a combination of electronic funds transfers and physical cash to carry out their shady transactions, utilizing foreign bank accounts to obscure the origins of the funds.

The long arm of the law caught up with the alleged fraudsters on May 8, 2024, when they were apprehended by the police. A search of their premises uncovered a trove of evidence, including 4 smartphones, 45 SIM cards, 4 computers, a point-of-sale machine, 28 debit cards (15 of which were issued by foreign banks), 3 money counters, and a register of transactions, as well as US$3,890 in cash.

The state has vehemently opposed the trio’s bail application, and the case is set to continue on Monday, May 13, 2024, as the investigating officer takes the stand to provide further testimony.

This case serves as a stark reminder of the government’s crackdown on illicit financial activities, as it seeks to maintain the integrity of Zimbabwe’s financial system and protect its citizens from predatory schemes.

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