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2 foreigners up for fraud

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BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

AN Angolan and a Congolese national yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Chido Garwe accused of tricking a soldier attached to the command agriculture programme to enter into a botched US$3 million investment deal.

The accused, Joao Belgas (50), who is an Angolan, and Koumba Samou (47), from the Democratic Republic of Congo, were remanded in custody to November 10.

The State opposed bail on the grounds that the two were foreigners and, therefore, a flight risk.

It is alleged that sometime in October, Belgas and Samou, working in cahoots with Emmanuel Santos, who is still at large and believed to be based in the United States, connived to defraud the complainant, Israel Phiri.

On October 27, they called the complainant to a meeting at Westgate shopping centre, Harare, purporting to be representing Santos in a discussion on investment opportunities in the country.

The pair promised to invest US$3 million, which was with the World Food Programme courier services, and were intending to raise US$3 500 required for shipping costs.

From October 28 to November 2, the accused allegedly pressured the complainant to pay the amount knowing that there was no such consignment.

After so much pressure was exerted on him, Phiri suspected foul play and made a police report. A trap was set and the two were arrested before receiving the US$3 500.

  • Follow Desmond on Twitter @DChingarande1

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