Monday, 26 October 2020

BUSINESSWOMAN ACQUITTED OF MONEY LAUNDERING

Businesswoman Precious Nyakujara who was facing fraud and money laundering allegations involving $13 million was last week acquitted at the close of the State’s case.

In discharging Nyakujara, Harare regional magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna said the State had failed to prove a prima facie case against the accused person. “The state has failed to prove a case against the accused person and therefore, she is hereby found not guilty and discharged,” he said.

The complainants were Grant Chitate and Nellie Mohadi of Grant Wellington and Thulisa Private Limited, who are fuel and liquified petroleum gas (LPG) dealers.

It was said in June this year, Chitate was approached by a business colleague, Beadle Gwasira who operates a grocery wholesale business.

Gwasira wanted someone with a bank account in South Africa to pay for his goods worth R4 million and would settle the equivalent in local currency.

Chitate, who operates a South African account with FNB Bank, then transferred the R4 million from his account to Gwasira’s supplier who also holds an FNB Bank account.

At the same time, Chitate was looking for fuel from different suppliers and Nyakujara advised him that she had 640 000 litres of fuel that he needed.

Chitate then engaged Gwasira who assured him that he had the funds ready and was able to settle the fuel bill. Chitate then directed Gwasira to pay $13 250 000 to Nyakujara on his behalf.

Gwasira transferred the money to various accounts as directed by Nyakujara who in turn confirmed receipt and assured Chitate that he would receive his fuel in 24 hours.

Two million went into her company account Obstinate Investments, $850 000 went to Rollben Enterprises as payment for cooking oil and sugar, $5 million went to Coltfin Enterprises for various goods for sale and $5,4 million went to Outshine Environ Consult for various grocery items.

Thereafter, Nyakujara was alleged to have become evasive and failed to deliver the fuel. However, Mr Nduna ruled that it was not clear whether the accused had refused to deliver the fuel or could not deliver it at the time it was needed. The accused also told the complainant that she was not going to deliver the fuel because the money had come from an account belonging to a person who owed her money from previous transactions. Mr Nduna found Nyakujara not guilty of the alleged offence and discharged her. Herald

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