Two university students allegedly duped Isomaster (Pvt) Limited, which operates as Lopdale Energy of Mutare, of nearly US$40 000 after taking the money a gold mining company in Mutoko had paid for a delivery of 40 000 litres of fuel.
The students, Batanai Joseph Matiza (22) and Tanaka Dave Mhaka (21) have since been arrested and appeared in court charged with theft of trust property.
Matiza is studying towards a degree in architecture at London Metropolitan University, while Mhaka is pursuing an engineering degree at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
Matiza and Mhaka were not asked to plead to the charge when they appeared before magistrate, Mrs Barbra Mateko, who remanded them to November 30 for routine remand on $5 000 bail each.
Prosecutor Lancelot Mutsokoti told the court that in January this year, Lopdale director Mr Carlton Seke was introduced to Matiza by his business partner Brendon Thom, after Matiza said he had a contract to supply fuel to Kunyu Mine in Mutoko.
It is said that Seke arranged with Mhaka to supply 35 000 litres of diesel to Kunyu Mine and after Mhaka was paid he paid Lopdale after deducting his commission.
On February 11 this year, Seke clinched a second deal to supply 40 000 litres of diesel to Kunyu Mine and engaged Matiza.
Prosecutor Mutsokoti alleges that Matiza then sent Mhaka to collect the money from the mine, where he was given US$39 590 by the mining firm’s manager, Mr Yu Yan, who is based in Harare.
It is alleged that Matiza and Mhaka connived with a friend, Mathew Pasipamire, who according to the State is still at large, to convert the money into their own use.
Mr Seke failed to track down the three, prompting him to lodge a complaint with the police leading to the arrest of Mhaka and Matiza.