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Fuel fraudster out on bail


A SUSPECTED Harare trickster who allegedly used the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to swindle a petroleum company of fuel valued at over $19 000, on Wednesday appeared in court facing allegations of fraud.


Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei remanded Gashirai Chigoya (30) to November 2 on $100 bail. Bail conditions included that he reports to the police once a week, does not acquire any travel document and resides at his given address until the matter is finalised.

Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira alleged that Chigoya approached Petrotrade and identified himself as Raymond Nyaruwata before submitting a request purportedly from the government for the supply of 8 000 litres of petrol and 6 000 litres of diesel.

It is alleged Chigoya told the company’s officials that the fuel was needed for urgent government business.

The court heard that after submitting the said government request to Petrotrade on October 29, Chigoya’s application was approved and he collected coupons on the same day at the company’s head office. The following day, the company’s accountant, Forbes Madzima, went to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to regularise the transaction, but the ministry denied any knowledge of the deal, the court heard.

The company made a police report and investigations revealed that some of the coupons had already been redeemed at Redan and BJP service stations. On November 1, a petrol attendant at a Petrotrade service station in Warren Park phoned his superiors and informed them that he had received a call from a person who asked him to prepare cash from his sales in exchange of Petrotrade coupons.

It is alleged that one of the company’s officials drove to the service station and Chigoya, who was driving a Toyota Mark II, arrived shortly afterwards. Chigoya sped off upon noticing the official who then followed in hot pursuit, the court heard. Chigoya was arrested near Warren Park Police Station and the police recovered some of the stolen coupons.

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