March 21, 2024

Rushwaya granted bail in US$1m fraud case

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Yeukai Karengezeka–Court Correspondent

Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Beatrice Rushwaya appeared in court yesterday for allegedly defrauding an Indian investor of US$1 million in a mining deal.

She appeared before the Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje, who granted her US$500 bail.

The matter returns to court on May 10 for routine remand.

Prosecutor Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti opposed bail and led evidence from the investigating officer, Chief Superintended Tinaye Matake, who made submissions why bail is opposed.

He said they were still hunting for two other suspects who are still at large, and that there was high propensity of absconding and interference with investigations.

However, the submissions were squashed by magistrate Mr Mambanje, who said the State had failed to give compelling reasons supported by evidence why Rushwaya should be denied bail.

Mr Mutsokoti alleged that on April 2, 2021 complainant Dr Ashok Jain, who is chairman of NV Group of Companies located in New Delhi, India, was introduced by Asif Adil to Rushwaya

 

She reportedly indicated to him that she could assist Dr Jain to get business opportunities in Zimbabwe majoring in distribution of liquor, establishing a distillery and setting up of an ethanol plant.

Rushwaya allegedly contacted Dr Jain using a cellphone and demanded US$35 000 for her to initiate the setting up of business in Zimbabwe.

On October 4, 2021, Dr Jain met Rushwaya in New Delhi where she was paid the US$35 000.

 

On another day during the same month, Rushwaya invited Dr Jain and his son, Mr Varun Jain to Zimbabwe, on the pretext of a business meeting.

During that visit, Rushwaya allegedly informed Dr Jain that she had a gold mine in Mashonaland Central Province, which she could sell to him.

Rushwaya allegedly took Dr Jain and his son to Umpfurudzi in Mashonaland Central and showed them the alleged mine, which she claimed was rich in gold ore and was on 420 hectares.

She offered the mine to Dr Jain for US$350 000 knowing full well that the special grant issued to her had expired on May 2, 2021.

The State further alleges that on December 26, 2021, Rushwaya demanded payment for the first instalment of US$175 000 for the purchase of the alleged Umpfurudzi gold mine through her representative only known as Richard.

On different dates between January 10, 2022 and May 2022, Rushwaya misrepresented to Dr Jain that she was preparing for mining to resume and she was paid various amounts of money totalling US$615 000 by the complainant, when in actual fact she was doing no such process.

On May 12, 2022, she allegedly demanded the second instalment of US$175 000 for the purchase and the money was deposited into CBZ account 26160480020, of which US$3 000 was transferred into Henrietta Rushwaya’s CBZ account number and the remainder US$172 000 was deposited into Relm Mining Syndicate (Pvt) Ltd’s account.

Rushwaya then presented a fraudulent geologist’s survey report concluding that Umpfurudzi Mine had no gold deposits as much as she had earlier claimed.

She allegedly misrepresented with the intention to lure the complainant to consider being offered a different mine in Shangani, Matabeleland South Province.

 

Through the continued misrepresentation, Dr Jain was defrauded of US$1 million.
 

 

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