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$9,8million tollgate fraud syndicate busted

by Staff reporter
02 Mar 2022 at 05:37hrs | Views
A total of 16 Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) employees at Gweru-Shurugwi tollgate working as a syndicate have been arrested for allegedly defrauding the road authority of $9,8million meant for toll gate fees.

The employees were arrested by police working with members of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc).

According to a statement from Zacc, sometime in 2021, the accused persons working in common purpose hatched a plan to siphon Government funds from Zinara.

Senior revenue officers namely Peter Pikita, Lilian Svinurai and Godfrey Chironga all stationed at Gweru-Shurugwi Tollgate allegedly created fictitious Zinara tap card accounts to use to siphon the money.

"Pursuant to their plan and acting in connivance with revenue clerks at the tollgate namely, Moreblessing Dzimba, Phylis Mawere, Farai Mutamba, Cleopatra Chihweta, Ismeal Mudzamiri, Kelvin Magwiranhaka, Oleen Magumise, Agnes Ngara, Esnath Manda, Terrence Nhundu, Jackson Kazembe, Tanyaradzwa Samupanya and Masciline Mwenje, the accused would then use the fictitiously topped cards to allow passage on various motorists using the cash payment system at the tollgate purporting that the motorists would have paid using the prepaid system thereby collecting the cash which they shared amongst themselves," reads a statement from Zacc.

Zinara internal audit allegedly conducted an investigative audit which unearthed that for the period from May 1 to July 31 last year, Zinara ICE cash cards were topped-up with fictitious funds.

In those three months, Chironga allegedly topped up over $1, 2million, Svinurai over $3,8 million and Pikita over $4, 8 million defrauding Zinara of over $9,8 million.

"A total of $9 830 334.00 topped-up into various Zinara ICE cash cards by the accused persons could not be traced to Zinara bank accounts. Pikita, Svinurai and Chironga who were responsible for doing top ups on the Ice Cash platform abused the system by conducting fictitious top ups," said Zacc.

Source - The Chronicle
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