Zimbabwe’s trade and investment consul in UAE charged over $1,5m swindle

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HARARE – Zimbabwe’s consul for investment and trade in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) appeared in court on Tuesday accused of swindling a foreign currency dealer of nearly ZW$1.5 million.

Shamiso Fred appeared before Harare magistrate More Mapiye who Fred her on ZW$3,000 bail.

Fred allegedly misrepresented to one Aissa Ussein that she had free funds in Dubai which she intended to exchange to the local currency to meet local obligations.

The court heard that Ussen deposited the money into a bank account of Fred’s company, Centershot Investments, after the latter allegedly produced fake proof of payments copies.

According to court papers, Ussen operates ZimExpress, a duly registered bureau-de-change operating from Borrowdale.

Prosecutors say that sometime in February this year, Fred approached Ussen intending to exchange US$10,000 for the South African rand.

The court heard that Fred told Ussen that she was appointed by the Zimbabwe government as the consul for investment and trade in the UAE and that she was facilitating many deals for the government including an unnamed project in Victoria Falls.

“After realising that Ussen was convinced by her assertions, the complainant allegedly inquired if the accused had local funds and cash in exchange for her free funds in the UAE to which the accused confirmed,” according to the prosecution.

Fred allegedly claimed she had obligations to meet locally and requested Ussen to transfer the funds to the provided accounts and in turn she would pay her using her free funds in the UAE.

It is alleged that acting upon the misrepresentation, Ussen provided her bank details to Fred to transfer the funds into. Fred gave Ussen fictitious copies of proof of payment showing she transferred a total of ZW$1,400,000 in two batches into her company, Centershot Investments’ NMB account.

The court heard that after a few days, Ussen checked to see if the funds had landed but the money was not there. Ussen approached Fred and requested her money back. Fred allegedly became evasive prompting Ussen to lodge a police report-ZIMLIVE

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