TWO Chinese nationals have appeared in court on allegations of duping their compatriot of US$240 000 in a botched property deal.
Zhiqiang Gao and Guibiao Zhang were charged with fraud when they appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Sheunesu Matora.
They were remanded out of custody to August 2 on $5 000 bail each.
The court heard that on March 22, 2017, Song Peng bought a property at number 32 Courtney Road, Ballantyne Park under deed of transfer number 2002/74, from Jeffrey William Dick.
The transaction was allegedly completed at Tim Tanser Consultancy Legal Practitioners, Dick’s lawyers.
The court heard that on the same date Peng purchased the property, the complainant Huang Boaming entered into a 10-year lease agreement with Peng.
Boaming was supposed to pay US$2 000 per month, but paid US$240 000 for the full 10 years upon which he assumed tenancy and control of the property through the lease agreement.
Sometime that same year, Peng left for China where he was arrested for organised crime.
He was convicted of the crimes in September 2018 and sentenced to 18 years in jail which he is now serving at Benxi Detention Centre in China.
The court heard that in December 2019, while the complainant was in China, Gao and Zhang hatched a plan to fraudulently take over the property and originated a fake lease agreement purporting that Peng had leased the property to Zhiqiang Gao on February 18, 2018.
The pair allegedly affixed fingerprint impressions on the fake lease agreement.
They also originated a fake documents purporting that on July 15, 2019, Peng had nominated and appointed Zhang to be his agent for managing and transacting his affairs in the property.
The fake documents were purportedly signed by Peng on July 15, 2019 in Borrowdale at a time when he was already serving his 18-year jail term in China. Sometime in December 2019, the accused persons misrepresented to the complainant that the documents were genuine and evicted the complainant.
Gao and Zhang have two other cases before the same court involving theft and fraud.