A 35-year-old land baron has been arrested on allegations of defrauding a city businessman of five vehicles worth over US$86 000 in exchange for five residential stands in Westlea, Harare.
It turned out that he misrepresented that the land was private property yet it belonged to Harare City Council.
Joseph Murimwa was arrested by detectives from the Commercial Crime Division and is assisting with investigations.
The businessman (name withheld) handed over a Range Rover, Toyota Prado, Toyota Runx, an Isuzu KB250 and a Jeep Cherokee.
Police said in 2018, the businessman, who was looking for residential stands to buy, approached his co-director who informed him that he had an uncle who was a land developer.
The businessman was then introduced to Murimwa who alleged that he was selling residential stands in and around the city.
They entered into a deal after the businessman informed Murimwa that he wanted five residential stands measuring around 1 000 square metres each.
He was shown some stands in the Warren Park 1 area and a site map and the businessman became interested before informing Murimwa that he would exchange them with five cars.
Murimwa, alleges the businessman in his statement to the police, then said that since the stands were not yet transferred to his name, it was prudent that the agreement of sale be made between the original owner and the buyer to cut costs.
The original owners were purported to be two local companies: Milivic Housing Trust and Bradha Engineering.
The businessman said he agreed to the arrangement and on February 1 2019, Murimwa gave him signed agreements of sale purporting that Milivic Housing Trust had sold the two Warren Park stands to him and that he should also sign the agreements.
On April 3, 2019, Murimwa also gave the businessman another three agreements of sale from Bradha Engineering.
The businessman then gave Murimwa the five cars and when he came to develop the stands, he discovered he had been duped.
Since then, the businessman has been trying to engage Murimwa, but to no avail, until in March last year when he was given other agreements of sale for five stands in Westlea.
A report was then made to the police leading to the arrest of Murimwa who is in custody as investigations continue.
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