Dealer accused of defrauding client of US$36,500 worth of diesel appears in court
In a dramatic courtroom scene yesterday, Tinashe Nyasha Makoni, a dealer implicated in an alleged fuel scam, stood before Harare magistrate Mr Dennis Mangosi, facing charges of fraud.
The prosecution claims that Makoni duped his client out of a staggering 25,000 litres of diesel, valued at approximately US$36,500, which he failed to deliver.
The proceedings unfolded as Makoni, looking composed yet apprehensive, was granted bail in the amount of US$300. However, his legal battles are far from over, as he was remanded and is due to reappear before the court on January 11 next year.
According to the State, represented by Mr Thomas Chanakira, the alleged fraudulent transaction took place on January 26 of this year. The complainant, whose identity remains undisclosed, stumbled upon an intriguing message in a WhatsApp group advertising the sale of fuel. Intrigued by the offer, he approached Makoni with the intention of purchasing 25,000 litres of diesel on behalf of his client, Mr Raymond Mazodze.
Makoni, seizing the opportunity, assured the complainant that he could fulfil the order and proceeded to request the necessary details regarding the truck that would transport the fuel. The deal was struck, and the complainant, eager to secure the much-needed diesel, paid the hefty sum of US$36,500 to Makoni. In return, he received what he believed to be a release document, granting him access to the purchased fuel.
Trusting the authenticity of the document, the complainant promptly forwarded it to his client, Mr Mazodze, who was eagerly anticipating the arrival of the fuel at the National Oil Infrastructure Company. However, their hopes were abruptly shattered when Mr Mazodze arrived at the collection point, only to be informed that the release document was nothing more than a clever forgery.
In the wake of this devastating revelation, the complainant embarked on a frantic search for Makoni, but all efforts to locate him proved fruitless. However, the long arm of the law finally caught up with the accused, as he was recently apprehended by the police in connection with the case.
The court proceedings shed light on the distressing impact of Makoni’s alleged fraudulent actions on both the complainant and his client. The missing diesel, valued at a substantial US$36,500, represents a significant loss for Mr Mazodze, who had anticipated utilizing the fuel for critical operations.