JANE Dawson, co-director of a Beitbridge-based fuel company, Red Queen Trading (Pvt) Ltd, was last Friday hauled before Harare provincial magistrate Vakai Douglas Chikwekwe facing a fraud charge involving over $1 million after she allegedly sold some company assets without the consent of other directors.
Dawson, who jointly runs the company with her husband, Reginald McGillivray Dawson, was granted $2 000 bail while her case was remanded to August 7.
The court heard that sometime in 2006, Jane connived with her husband, who has since appeared in court on the same charges, to defraud the company of $1,2 million.
The couple allegedly sold Red Queen Trading (Pvt.) Ltd assets without the knowledge of another shareholder identified as Josias Moyo, who has a 33,3% stake in the company. The company imports fuel, which it distributes to various depots across the country.
Prosecutor Sebastian Mutizirwa told the court that in 2005 the couple entered into a lease agreement with a South African company called SAS Fuel and Chem (Pvt) Ltd. Red Queen leased its assets including a fuel depot in Beitbridge, seven trucks and tankers at R100 000 per month.
The agreement was in effect between October 1 2005 and March 31 2006. Jane and her husband instructed the South African company to pay rentals to Sasol Oil in South Africa. The complainant was allegedly prejudiced of R199 800.
On March 31 2006, the accused allegedly connived with her husband and misrepresented to SAS Fuel and Chem that they were the only shareholders and sold Red Queen assets without Moyo’s knowledge for $650 000.
The court heard that the money was deposited into her husband’s Barclays Bank account in Francistown, Botswana. The court further heard that the couple instituted the transfer without clearance form Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), thereby contravening the country’s Exchange and Control Act regulations.
The Dawsons allegedly later instructed SAS Fuel and Chem to pay monthly rentals of R100 000 to Sasoil in South Africa without clearance from the RBZ, but did not repatriate the R600 000 back to Zimbabwe.
The matter only came to the fore after Moyo subsequently filed a police report and investigations led to the couple’s arrest.