Byo restaurateur in court for US$700K fraud

A Bulawayo restaurant manager has been hauled before a magistrate’s court facing fraud charges involving over half a million United States Dollars.

The court heard that the manager used the money to repay a $700 000 loan she was owing.

Delny Deanna Ashley Davies managing director of Been There Restaurant (Pvt) Ltd situated at number 12 Oak Avenue Suburbs, Bulawayo, was not asked to plead to a charge of fraud. 

Bulawayo Provincial Magistrate Tinashe Tashaya granted Davies a ZWL$5000 bail. 

He remanded the matter to December 11 for trial. 

Magistrate Tashaya ordered her to report twice every week to Bulawayo Central police station and not to interfere with state witnesses. 

Davies allegedly hatched a plan to defraud Prince Abraham, managing director for Nedlac Automation-a company with branches in South Africa and Zimbabwe. 

According to State allegations as presented by Memory Matare, Davies prejudiced Abraham a total of US$664 200-00 and only US$7 432-00 was recovered.

The prosecutor said Davies told Abraham that she had free funds in South Africa which Abraham would use to do his South African transactions and in return, he should transfer $700 000 into her Zimbabwean account.

Matare said Abraham then told Davies that his company had two major invoices which had to be settled totalling about ZAR3 500 000-00. 

“Sometime in November 2018, Abraham instructed Davies to pay ZAR3 070 000-00 to Maggotteax South Africa for goods bought and delivered to PPC Bulawayo and to pay ZAR 430 000-00 to Toyota Nelspruit for Nedlac Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd company vehicle,” said Matare.

“On November 26, 2018, Davies then instructed Abraham to deposit USD $700 000-00 into FMC Finance Company Ecobank account number 00147600849601. Abraham thus made two internal transfers of US$200 000-00 and US$500 000-00 into the stated account through Interbank banking using his Ecobank account number 005103760992101.”

Matare said investigations established that when the money was transferred into FMC Financial Services Ecobank Account, US$72 000.00 financed an overdraft for FMC Financial Services and US$628 000.00 was transferred to a Steward Bank account, on instructions from Zakanya Patel.

“On 29 November 2018, a total of ZAR 450 000-00 was paid to Nedlac Automation South Africa FNB account number 62716180807 by Davies and she converted a balance of ZAR3 050 000-00 to her own use. She later made another deposit of ZAR110 000-00 into Nedlac Automation FNB account,” said Matare.

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