Abel Zhakata Senior Reporter
A diamond dealer lost $12 000 in an illegal diamond deal involving bogus Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company employees who vanished with his money after selling him a fake 9,4 carat gem.
The suspects — Romio Charles Tembo (30) of House Number 1051, Chikanga 1 and Daniel Chikotosa of House Number 8897 Area 16, Dangamvura — have since been hauled before the courts on fraud charges.
Tembo appeared before Miss Perseverance Makala last Saturday for initial remand and was granted $100 bail, while Tsokoti was granted $200 bail when he appeared before Mr Innocent Bepura on Monday.
Mr Fletcher Karombe prosecuted.
The complainant, Steven Tserayi, said he was approached by the suspects who intended to sell him some diamonds. The court heard that on May 9, the suspects approached the complainant and showed him some pieces of diamonds they were selling.
“The complainant informed the suspects that they should look for bigger and better diamonds than what they were showing him. Chikotosa informed the complainant that he had an eight-carat diamond valued at $12 000. The complainant gave Tembo $12 000 and he promised to bring the diamond later,” said Mr Karombe.
The suspects then went to collect the said diamond.
Chikotosa allegedly phoned the complainant at around 8pm and informed him that they managed to get a 9, 4 carats diamond instead of the 8-carat piece they had earlier agreed on.
“The accused persons advised the complainant to make a top up to $15 000. The complainant informed Chikotosa to wait for him at 22 Miles so that he will pick him up for Mutare. The complainant drove to 22 Miles to pick up Chikotosa. They connected and drove back together. While on the way, Chikotosa gave the complainant the 9, 4-carat diamond which he bought from Tembo. The complainant tested the diamond using a diamond tester and discovered that it was fake,” said Mr Karombe.
They made a U-turn and drove back to 22 Miles to recover the money from Tembo, but he was nowhere to be found.
“On their way back to Mutare while at the 22 Miles tollgate, Chikotosa informed the police officers at the tollgate that he was kidnapped and he was subsequently taken by the police for safe custody.
“Chikotosa was taken to CID Mutare where he was interviewed and was advised to make an official report of kidnapping which he never did and went away. The complainant later made a police report against the suspects,” said Mr Karombe.
The defrauded $12 000 has not been recovered.
In his statement to the police, Tserayi said Tembo lied to him that he was employed as a sorter at ZCDC, hence he had vast knowledge of diamonds.