BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
A FIRST Bank cashier stationed in Harare yesterday appeared in court facing fraud and money-laundering charges involving $1 million.
Bangiso Shield Tafirei (30) appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa, who remanded him out of custody on $1 000 bail.
As part of his bail conditions, Tafirei was ordered to surrender his passport, continue residing at his current address, report twice a week to the police and not interfere with witnesses.
The complainant is First Capital Bank (Pvt) Ltd represented by Eithwell Mhlanga, the forensic audit manager.
The accused person was employed by the bank’s non-governmental organisation (NGO) branch as a cashier and was allocated user number 29.
It is the State’s case that the NGO branch is a special cash-out point for NGOs, which pay their employees for goods and services in foreign currency mainly in United States dollars.
The State says it allows withdrawals in US dollars by approved foreign currency accounts (FCA) holders, who would have deposited or received hard currency through the bank.
It is alleged that between August 1 and December 31 last year, Tafirei hatched a plan to defraud his employer and approached various account holders who transferred various amounts through the ZIPIT money transfer facility into First Capital Bank accounts.
After the money was deposited in First Capital bank accounts, Tafirei would misrepresent that the accounts were FCA entitled to withdraw US dollars.
Tafirei would allegedly withdraw the US dollars and prejudiced First Capital Bank of $455 680 in the process.
The State further alleges that during the same period, Tafirei received.
$621 289 through Steward and CABS bank accounts.
He allegedly transferred various amounts into First Capital Bank accounts before withdrawing US dollars at the bank’s NGO branch.
The accused person would then give his brother Pedita Chimboko the US dollars to trade on the parallel market.
Chimboko would then return proceeds of the parallel market trade to Tafirei.
The alleged offence came to light when the bank did a reconciliation which showed that the amount deposited for NGO purposes surpassed the amounts which were being withdrawn from the bank.
Investigations also revealed that Tafirei used proceeds of the crime to buy a tipper truck hired out to mines in Shurugwi.
Sebastian Mutizirwa appeared for the State.