HARARE Children’s home last week received stolen groceries worth $1 800 from a suspected conman who had reportedly swindled a local wholesaler of goods worth $12 000.
Report by Kupakwashe Makonye
The institution’s director Maria Sithole told NewsDay on Monday that the suspected conman David Cooper had called her saying he was donating groceries to children’s homes and wanted the foodstuffs to be offloaded at the home so that other homes could collect their allocation from there.
“The man who called sounded like a white man and he said he was donating to all children’s homes for Christmas. Therefore, he wanted to keep the goods at our home so that others would collect from here,” Sithole said.
“He sounded so genuine and everything seemed to be real. He provided the name of the operations manager who was coming to offload the goods and his ID number.”
Sithole said after the goods were offloaded from the wholesaler’s truck with the aid of the children at the home, two trucks allegedly sent by Cooper arrived with copies of the grocery list.
Cooper then reportedly called advising her there had been a change of plan and the trucks were to deliver the goods directly to each home. Sithole said goods worthy $1 800, which covered all necessities for the home, were left at the children’s home.
“It was only a few days after the men had left when officials from the wholesaler came with the proof of payment with today’s date (Monday) stamped on Friday last week. This means the conmen had sent fake receipts of payment to the wholesaler when he had never paid anything. The police also came to investigate the matter,” Sithole said.
When NewsDay arrived at the Children’s home, the officials were collecting leftovers of groceries that had been donated by the “well-wisher.”
Officials from the wholesaler declined to comment on the issue.