Bitcoin deal gone wrong in Mutare





A MUTARE woman lost US$17 300 after being swindled in a Bitcoin scam.

Bitcoin, according to Online sources, is a decentralised digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.

Loise Samhere (42), of Piki Village, under Chief Zimunya, lost US$17 300 to Violet Chamisa, who had promised to transfer her Bitcoins into her Coinbase wallet.

Chamisa has since appeared before Mutare provincial magistrate, Mr Langton Carter facing fraud charges.

Mr Nyasha Mukonyora prosecuted.

The court heard that on July 24, Samhere, who needed Bitcoins to enable her to join Cryptoshares, approached Chamisa at Mac’s Seconds Building in Mutare after being referred to her by Josephine Chingwingwi and Princess Jabuli.

“Chamisa was one of the administrators of a WhatsApp group called Cryptoshares, which purported to be an online Bitcoin and cash trading company. She told Samhere that she could facilitate her acquisition of the Bitcoins. Samhere gave Chamisa US$16 000 and was told the Bitcoins would be transferred into her Coinbase wallet,” said Mr Mukonyora.

On July 30, Samhere gave Chamisa US$1 300 as part of the deal.

However, Chamisa did not transfer the Bitcoins into Samhere’s Coinbase wallet.

Chamisa pleaded not guilty, saying she only acted on her boss, Martin Mhlanga’s instructions.

“I was Martin Mhlanga’s employee, and he instructed me to do swaps with the money,” said Chamisa.

She claimed that she was also defrauded by Mhlanga, who is on the run after allegedly duping a number of people using the same chicanery.

“I had to relocate to Harare since the people who gave me their money are threatening me,” Chamisa added.

The matter was adjourned to November 25 for trial.