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51 counts of fraud couple on the run

by Staff reporter
26 Jan 2024 at 04:46hrs | Views
SENSING a high possibility of being locked up in jail, a couple that was facing 51 counts of fraud has allegedly fled and Bulawayo police have spread a dragnet to arrest them.

Melusi Ndlovu (36) and his wife Gwendoline Ndlovu (35) had appeared several times before Bulawayo magistrate Themba Chimiso facing 51 charges of fraud and were remanded out of custody to 5 January after they paid $500 000 bail each.

The pair was expected in court on 5 January for continuation of trial but they did not show up. The prosecutor, Sehliselo Khumalo, called them but their mobile numbers were not reachable prompting the magistrate to issue a warrant of arrest.

Bulawayo Police Spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident.

"We are appealing for information that may assist in the whereabouts and subsequent arrest of Melusi Ndlovu and his wife Gwendoline Ndlovu who were due to appear in court on 5 January for continuation of trial of several fraud cases they are facing.

"Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Assistant Inspector Ngwenya on 0772884117 or relay a tip-off to any nearest police station" said Insp Ncube.

The couple allegedly posed as agents who could secure people work permits and jobs in countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

The couple is said to have advertised their company on social media platforms. They even stated in the advert that they could secure certificates of sponsorship and air tickets.

After stumbling on messages on social media, hordes of unsuspecting people made trips to their offices which were located at the Mimosa Building at the corner of 9th Avenue and Joshua Mqabuko Street.  

The court heard that at first the couple was approached by more than ten people from Bulawayo on different dates and who were told to pay US$4 000 each to get the services.

The victims paid fractions of the US$4 000 and payment plans were made since they could not raise the full amount, the court heard.

After paying the balance the unsuspecting people were interviewed via WhatsApp video calls by unknown males who claimed to be based in the United Kingdom, after interviews they were told they were successful, the court heard.

The court learned that some unsuspecting people who did not have cash paid with electrical gadgets including stoves and TV sets or kitchen appliances like cupboards.

The couple promised the desperate job seekers that they would facilitate their "papers" within three months. However, after two months they disappeared and their phones were not reachable until one of the unsuspecting people went to their offices and found them relocating.

The client got suspicious and upon asking them they did not give a clear response about where they were moving to in UK.

The client reported the incident to the police after which many people who were defrauded by the couple filed charges against them and the number of duped people reached 51.

Thereafter the pair was arrested.

Source - BMetro
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