Police hunt for US$1,9m Ponzi scheme masterminds

The Herald

Freeman Razemba

Crime Reporter

More than US$1,9 million was siphoned off by Kuwait Dinair Limited (KWD) in a Ponzi scheme with police now hunting the two Harare suspected fraudsters, Mpumelelo Khaya Dube (39) and Sithokozile Ndhlovu (29), who they suspect were behind the fraud.

In a Ponzi scheme early investors are paid dividends from later investments, without any money actually being earned, and eventually all such schemes collapse because ever more people are needed to be brought into the system.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said police were appealing for information leading to the arrest of the two.

Between July 13 and August 6 this year Kuwait Dinair Limited swindled US$1 910 000 from people promised profits ranging from 5 percent to 100 percent. So far nothing has been recovered, said Asst Com Nyahti.

Anyone with information can contact CID Commercial Crimes Division on 0242 777646 or 0772 771 767 or the national complaints desk on 0242 703631.

The latest development comes after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in August stated that KWD Digital Marketing of 147 Freedom Legacy Road in Gunhill, was in violation of the Banking Act. RBZ and police started investigating KWD directors, who reportedly fled to South Africa before they could be interviewed regarding the legality of their company’s operations.

KWD was offering to double deposits within four weeks, which is not possible under normal business conditions.

During the same month, police also started looking for Bevern Dzinoenda and Ambrose Chikukwa in connection with a company called Bevern Capital (Pvt) Limited that had branches in Harare and Kwekwe and was taking deposits of various amounts from people promising lucrative returns within a week, in violation of the Banking Act.

Their partner, Richard Boutros Samunda, was arrested and appeared at the Harare magistrates court charged with violating the Banking Act, with a prejudice

the State of US$2 million.

Circumstances leading to Samunda’s arrest were that during 2018, allegedly acting with Dzinoenda and Chikukwa, he formed Bevern Capital for purposes of accepting deposits from people and investing the money into an unknown enterprise.

The three, through their company, would return the money to the depositors after six weeks with 50 percent interest.

On August 14 this year, the Reserve Bank, which is the sole regulator of banking institutions’ activities, received information to the effect that Bevern Capital was taking deposits from people.

Investigations by the RBZ revealed that the company was not registered either under the Banking Act or the Micro-Finance Act.

Prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa said on the same date, police went to Bevern Capital’s offices in Milton Park, Harare, and found them closed.

The police were said to have noted that Samunda had sent nearly 200 people away from the place after being informed that police were looking for him.

The Herald