Australian-based investor conned by fellow Zimbabwean director

MA Auto Spares, Michael Smith
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A CO-DIRECTOR of MA Auto Spares, Michael Smith was last Friday arraigned before Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi facing charges of corruptly concealing a transaction worth US$11 000 and R124 000 to his fellow director.

Smith is also likely to face more fraud charges. He was granted $100 000 bail.

Allegations are that sometime in October 2019, a fellow director, who is the complainant, left for Australia and failed to return due to COVID-19 restrictions until September this year.

It is alleged that when he returned, he discovered that the company was paying its South African suppliers through a third party, called Mant Procurement [Pvt) Ltd.

The SA registered company is co-owned by Smith and his South African based friend, Tony Oatley.

Smith had not disclosed this arrangement to his principal, the complainant.

MA Auto Supplies later discovered that Mant Procurement was overcharging the company and as a result they suffered prejudice in excess of R100 000.

In February last year, Smith allegedly imported two tents using MA Auto Suppliers (Pvt) Ltd’s resources under the pretence that the tents belonged to the company. He allegedly sold the tents to Ms Horsley for US$1 800 before converting the cash to his own use.

It is alleged that in October, Smith used the same modus operandi to import a Station Wagon Rear Bumper and RHS Carrier and the customer paid R24 259,83 directly into Mant Procurement (Pvt) Ltd’s FNB account.

On another occasion, Smith was authorised by the complainant to sell their Toyota Land Cruiser to his son for US$7 500. Smith allegedly released the vehicle after receiving only US$2 000.

As a result, the company was prejudiced of US$5 500.

It also alleged that Smith attempted to sell three tool boxes to MA Auto Supplies when they already belonged to the company.

The attempt prejudiced the company of US$3 300. – News Day