A prominent Bulawayo businessman has been dragged to court for allegedly defrauding a fellow businessman of US$290 000 before reportedly trying to swindle a couple of its house to cover up the theft.
Ismail Moosa Lunat was arrested last week in Bulawayo and appeared before Harare provincial magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa, who released him on $3 000 bail.
He was ordered to report thrice a week at Bulawayo Central Police Station.
It is the State’s case that sometime in October 2018, the complainant, Adam Houghton (36), approached his friend Steve Hahn seeking cash as he had money in his bank account.
Hahn was at that time out of the country and referred Houghton to Lunat, resulting in a meeting which culminated in an electronic transfer of US$290 000 into Miraculous Zhou’s Stanzim Investments bank account on October 28 2019.
The duo — Lunat and Zhou — then moved the US$290 000 within a day to various bank accounts, but failed to deliver on their promise to Houghton.
In a frantic bid to recover his money, Houghton made several futile attempts to engage Lunat.
Houghton then made a report to the police, resulting in the arrest of Lunat and Zhou.
Lunat promised to pay back the US$290 000 by January 14 2019, but reneged on his promise.
It is claimed that Lunat and Zhou subsequently approached Houghton on February 3 2019 with a surety of original title deeds of a Bulawayo house belonging to Caroline and Benjamin Ndachengedzwa. The meeting was arranged by Lunat’s acquaintance, Hahn. Houghton then verified the title deeds and discovered that they belonged to the Ndachengedzwa couple.
Police investigations revealed that the title deeds were reported as missing by the Deeds Office in Bulawayo and the Ndachengedzwa couple were actually seeking a replacement.