December 9, 2019

Restaurant boss up for fraud

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Andile Tshuma

A restaurant boss in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo has been arraigned before the courts for allegedly defrauding a local company of US$700 000.

Delny Deanna Ashley Davies (43), the Managing Director of ‘Bean There’ Restaurant allegedly duped Mr Prince Abraham of Nedlac Automation Private Limited in Belmont, in the city, after promising to facilitate offshore payments.

Davies, of Morningside suburb, was not asked to plead to fraud charges when she appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya last week.

The magistrate remanded her out of custody on $5 000 bail.

Mr Tashaya said the defence was opposed to the United States dollar denomination involved in the matters basing its case on the Financial Act which was passed on February 1 this year which stated that all transactions that had been made before this date were on a rate of one is to one (1:1) to the U.S. dollar.

Prosecuting, Ms Memory Matare said Davies promised to facilitate a $700 000 transaction in South Africa as she had offshore funds for Mr Abraham, before they allegedly got into a deal.

‘Sometime in November 2018, the accused person hatched a plan to defraud the complainant of his US$700 000 so as to settle her loan with (a) Zakanya Patel. Pursuant to her plan, the accused person approached the complainant and misrepresented facts to him that she had some free funds in South Africa and if the complainant had any payments to settle in South Africa, she had the capacity to settle them. In return, the complainant would then transfer US$700 000.00 to the accused person,” said the prosecutor.

Mr Abraham allegedly told Davies that his Company had two major invoices which had to be settled with a South African company, Nedlac Automation South Africa, totaling R3 500 000.

She had to pay R3 070 000 to Maggotteax South Africa for goods bought and delivered to PPC Bulawayo and R430 000-00 to Toyota Nelspruit for a Nedlac Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd company vehicle.

Davies is alleged to have instructed the complainant to deposit USD700 000 into an FMC Finance Company Ecobank account number 00147600849601.
The court heard that when the money was transferred into FMC Financial Services Ecobank Account, USD72 000 financed an overdraft for FMC Financial Services and US$628 000 was transferred to a Steward Bank account, on instructions from Zakanya Patel.

A total of US$7 432 was recovered while US$664 200 was lost leading to Davies’ arrest.

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