By A Correspondent- Two brothers and their accomplice colleague from the Mashonaland region who were supposed to be sentenced for allegedly swindling a Bulawayo resident of US$70 000 after selling him 7kg of fake gold have absconded.
The court has issued a warrant of arrest for Kudakwashe Pfavai (28) of Marshal Farm Chakari, Daniel Pfavai (29) of Nowhere Phase 1, Norton and Nyasha Marumahoko (28) of Chikonohono in Chinhoyi.
Bulawayo magistrate Ms Linear Khumalo postponed the matter to Thursday this week as the accused persons did not show up for the ruling.
The State represented by Mr Nhlalwenhle Dube said on 14 November 2020, the trio enticed Mr Phinias Munda of Imbizo Barracks, who is a manager at Ndlovu Syndicate Mines in Enyandeni at Matopto, to buy gold in Shangani area.
“Mr Munda drove to Shangani and met the accused persons who showed him a loaded 50kg cement sack tied and placed inside a boot of a Mercedes Benz C200 registration number AFG 1336 indicating to him that it was unprocessed powdered gold. The trio lured Mr Munda to the nearby Shangani River where there was enough water for slimming. Using mercury, the sand produced 7kg of amalgam,” said Mr Dube.
The court heard that the suspects and complainant weighed a smelted sample of 42.3g of amalgam and got 41.1g of gold. Mr Munda got deceived as he failed to observe that the real gold which they used as a sample had been switched by one of the accused from his pocket.
After sampling they agreed that 7kg of amalgam would produce 2kg of gold after smelting. Mr Munda paid US$70 000 and left for his office to smelt the “gold concentrate.”
The offence came to light after Mr Munda had smelted the amalgam and discovered that he had been duped. He made a police report.
Police tracked down the trio and arrested them in Chinhoyi while they were travelling in a Toyota Runx registration number AFA 0874. Police searched the vehicle and recovered a sack filled with the same sand hidden inside a boot. The complainant was contacted and positively identified the culprits.
In their defence the trio denied fleecing Mr Munda, arguing that they did all necessary gold processing procedures in his presence and reached an agreement. They further argued that Mr Munda wanted to con his employer through fabricating a fraud case against them.
The recovered sands and remains of the fake gold were taken to an assayer who ascertained that it was fake.
Mr Munda suffered a prejudice of US$70 000 and nothing was recovered.