Trio up for fraud

Source: Trio up for fraud | The Herald February 2, 2017

Anesu Chakabva

Three Chinese nationals, arrested on allegations of defrauding a prospective business partner, appeared before a Harare magistrate and were remanded to February 22 on $200 bail each. Wu Zizhong, Wang Zemin and Miao Quiqui appeared before Ms Rumbidzai Mugwagwa facing fraud charges.Prosecuting, Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa told the court that sometime in March 2013, the trio met the complainant in China and told him of the vast business opportunities in Zimbabwe after which they agreed to form a joint venture company, Zimbabwe Traders (Private) Limited.

It is alleged that the parties signed a memorandum of agreement in which the terms were that the complainant would be the one to provide the capital that was needed to fund the project, thereafter becoming a shareholder in the company.

The court heard that after the signing of the agreement, the trio returned to Zimbabwe and between 2014 and 2015, the complainant, who runs businesses in China, sourced funds amounting to $700 000, which he used to acquire raw materials and various machines as per the specifications of the accused.

It is further alleged that the raw materials and the machinery were shipped to the accused during this period. Upon arrival of the consignment in Zimbabwe, the trio shared the equipment among themselves and did not establish the said company.

Contrary to the terms of the agreement, the trio opened separate companies. The offence came to light when the accused stopped communicating with the complainant, which prompted him to send his son on a fact-finding mission in Zimbabwe. His son discovered that the accused persons had converted the equipment to their own use and were operating businesses without his father’s involvement.

When the complainant came to Zimbabwe to verify, he discovered that no company had been established as per agreement and all the equipment had been sold. As a result of the trio’s actions, the complainant suffered an actual prejudice of $700 000 and nothing was recovered.