A 34-YEAR-OLD Bulawayo man, who was on the Interpol red flag for allegedly defrauding Sable Chemicals of 300 tonnes of fertiliser worth $174 000 four years ago, was last week apprehended outside the United States embassy in Harare where he had gone to process his travelling documents.
By Simbarashe Sithole
Manase Manjova of Pumula South, yesterday pleaded not guilty to a fraud charge before Kwekwe magistrate Vimbai Mutukwa who granted him $3 000 bail and remanded him to January 21.
The State alleges on June 17, 2013, Manjova approached Paul Mwanza, who is employed by Sable Chemicals as a sales and debtors officer, at a fast food outlet in Kwekwe.
Manjova claimed to be an employee of Friends Without Boarders, a non-governmental organisation which allegedly wanted to purchase ammonium nitrate fertiliser from Sable Chemicals.
Accused was told to make a formal request through electronic mail which he allegedly did. He requested for an offshore account to make a quicker transfer of the funds and was supplied with a profoma invoice with the banking details of Sasol, a South African company which supplies Sable Chemicals with ammonia so that he could transfer the $174 000.
He was told that the order will be released after payment has been confirmed.
On July 5, 2013, Manjova forged a Sasol email address and sent correspondence to Sable Chemicals confirming payment to ABSA Bank while pretending to be the South African company’s finance manager, Eldine Holmes.
Sable then released 300 tonnes of fertiliser the following day which Manjova sold. The company later received an alert from Sasol that the email which was being used was not theirs.
The company made a report to the police, but Manjova fled and was then put on red notice by Interpol NCB Harare. Manjova was arrested on January 2 outside the US embassy after detectives got wind of his intensions to fly out of Zimbabwe.
In granting bail, the magistrate ordered him to surrender his travelling documents, report once a week at Criminal Division (Crime) Bulawayo and continue residing at his given address and not to interfere with State witnesses.
Freddy Ndoro represented the State.