POLICE in Bulawayo have arrested a syndicate of suspected fraudsters who were using muti to aid their criminal activities after they tried to defraud an illegal money changer by exchanging fake US dollar notes with RTGS dollars.
The incident occurred last Thursday afternoon in Nguboyenja suburb and the suspects were allegedly found with muti/umuthi/juju which they are believed to have used to aid them in their criminal activities.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Chief Inspector Precious Simango confirmed the arrest of three of the four suspects.
One suspect managed to escape.
“Police in Bulawayo are investigating a case of fraud which occurred at Nguboyenja Shopping Centre in Bulawayo on April 4 2019 at about 2:40PM. The four accused persons approached the complainant saying that they were miners and wanted to change or convert US$200 to RTGS dollars,” said Chief Insp Simango.
She said after the four reached an agreement with the illegal money changer, they briefly left and came back with four fake US$50 notes.
Chief Insp Simango said the alert illegal money changer noticed that the notes were fake before he had handed them his money and the suspects were apprehended.
When the fraudsters were apprehended, they were found with RTGS$503.
“The complainant realised that the notes handed over to him in exchange for his RTGS $700 were fake and he held one of the accused by the hand. With the aid of other people, the complainant managed to apprehend three accused persons and recovered RTGS$503, one of the accused persons fled and police are hunting for him,” she said.
Chief Insp Simango said following the trio’s arrest, police impounded their Honda Fit car registration number AEA 5356.
She urged members of the public to desist from unlawful acts which may expose them to criminals.
Sources said the four were part of a notorious gang robbing Bulawayo residents of their money and property and were mainly targeting osiphatheleni.
“The syndicate was operating in a red Honda Fit and is said to have been on the police wanted list since 2016. The syndicate was mainly targeting osiphatheleni and also used their vehicle as a pirate taxi. However, instead of transporting their purported clients to their destinations, they would divert and rob them of their valuables,” said the source.
“When they were arrested, police discovered several bank cards which might have belonged to their victims. They were also found with umuthi/muti that they are believed to have used so that they could not be caught or arrested.”