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Fake permits land man in court

by Staff reporter
15 Nov 2023 at 05:08hrs | Views
A MAN from Harare has appeared in court on allegations of defrauding six people, mostly contacted through WhatsApp groups, of US$1 700 after misrepresenting that he could process permits to enable them to work in Singapore.

Dowells Mabhugu (26), in partnership with an accomplice, appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Dennis Mangosi on Monday charged with fraud and was granted US$200 bail.

Prosecutor Mr Zebediah Bofu alleged that on October 30 this year, Ethel Dune joined a WhatsApp group named Singapore Malaysia.

Mabhugu, in connivance with Obesto Lazaro Sithole who is still at large, allegedly lied that he would help Ms Dune to acquire a work permit in Singapore.

She was asked to pay a processing fee of US$250 which she paid at Mabhugu's offices at Equity Building, corner Julia Zvobgo Street and Jason Moyo Avenue, Harare.

Ms Dune was promised her permit within three weeks but it never came.

On the second count, the State alleged that on October 2, Nokuthula Ndebele (29) joined a WhatsApp group named Singapore Canada New Zealand. Mabhugu and Sithole lied to her that they would help her to acquire a work permit in Singapore.

Ndebele paid R400 at the same office on October 27, and Sithole promised her that the permits would be ready in three weeks, telling her to check her email account for the permit which had allegedly been sent, but Ndebele noticed that there was no such permit sent.

On the third count, the two deceived Chipo Luzani who joined their Singapore Canada New Zealand WhatsApp group. She was made to pay US$270 in September and an additional US$80 which was said to be an administration fee. In total, she lost US$350.

The fourth victim is Beverly Musimbira who was asked to pay US$270 in order to get a permit to work in Singapore.

On the fifth count, the court heard that Kudzai Chikupa was asked to pay US$500 by Sithole and Mabhugu as an agent fee in order for her to go and work in Singapore. So on October 25, Ms Chikupa gave Mabhugu US$186 and US$97 three days later and the money was transferred into Sithole's South African bank account.

They promised that Ms Chipuka would have an offer letter within 48 hours and a work permit within three weeks through email.

The sixth person allegedly conned was Ruvimbo Gavi who paid US$548 for her work permit to be processed.

Police reports were made leading to the arrest of Mabhugu.

Source - The Herald
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