Harare man jailed for conning Singaporean investor

Fradreck Utsiwegota
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A 38-year-old Harare man has been jailed an effective 7 years for conning a Singaporean investor in a USD$500 000 business venture.

Fradreck Utsiwegota appeared before Bindura Magistrate Tinashe Ndokera this Tuesday facing fraud charges.

Utsiwegota had denied the fraud charges but was, however, sentenced to 10years in prison after a full trial at Bindura Magistrates Court.

Three years were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence following his conviction for theft of trust property.

It is the state’s case that on July 2012 Utsiwegota entered into a gold mining deal with the complainant Ramason Bupendra.

Utsiegota was made the director of Decade Mining Private Limited. In July 2013 Bupendra left Zimbabwe for his home country Singapore after which the accused began striping company asserts which he had been entrusted to look after.

The state also alleges that Utsiwegota disposed of 2 x 3 Stamp Mills, One 5 stamp Mill, one 120KVA generator, Two concentrators, One Toyota Hillux Single Cab, One Mazda 3, One Foton (7 ton Truck),8 electric motors, one Amalgam Burrel, 3 compressors, 5 Water Pumps, Two Motor Bikes, One Dumper Trailer and approximately 20 000 tons of Gold tailings, bringing the total value of the assets stolen to USD$500 000.00 thereby contravening section 183(1)((b) of the companies act, Chapter 24:03 as read with section 277(5) of the criminal codification and reform) act Chapter 9:23.

According to the state, Ustiwegota would inform his partner all was well at the company adding the political situation was not conducive for his return to Zimbabwe. Bupendra subsequently returned to Zimbabwe in 2017 when the new dispensation came into power, only to discover that the gold mill was not operational and the disposal of property without his consent. The complainant then sought legal recourse.

In passing sentence, the court considered the high value of the property stolen and subsequent effects on investment to the country. Provincial Prosecutor Garudzo Ziyadhuma represented the state.

Source – zbc