A BULAWAYO milling company, Best Blue millers Pvt Ltd was defrauded of US$98 000 in a botched maize deal by a Zimbabwean man based in South Africa, police have confirmed.
Bulawayo Provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abedinico Ncube said police are looking for Never Sithole (45) in connection with the case which happened in August this year.
Insp Ncube said Sithole’s last known address 2556 Dzivarasekwa 2, Harare.
“Police in Bulawayo are investigating a case of fraud that occurred in Bulawayo and South Africa. The accused is Never Sithole a man of no fixed aboard in Zimbabwe but stays at number 16 Anderson Road, Loius Trichard, South Africa.
The accused phoned the company and introduced himself as a farmer who owns a farmer in South Africa and that he and his business partner only known as Mr Marias were in a position to supply with maize,” said Insp Ncube.
Insp Ncube said Sithole told the complainant that they also owned a company called Lumar General Trading based in South Africa and he agreed to the deal.
He said the milling company owner arranged with his business partner based in South Africa to meet Mr Marias to discuss the deal after which they agreed to buy 1 632 tonnes of maize from the accused at US$225 000.
Said Insp Ncube: “Mr Marias told the complainant that for them to deliver the maize there was a need for a half down deposit payment and that was going to be done by handing over the cash to the accused person, Never Sithole.
The complainant then called Sithole on August 19 and gave him US$50 000. On the following day the complainant handed over US$8 000 to Sithole again and called his partner to make another payment in South Africa of R175 000 which was deposited to an FNB Bank. On the 27th of August 2020 the complainant handed over US$40 000 to the accused person.”
Insp Ncube says the complainant only discovered that he had been duped after failing to get hold of Mr Marias when he wanted to collect the maize as his phone was no longer reachable.
He said a report was made to police and the accused is still at large.
He appealed to anyone with information on the accused to report to their nearest police station.
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