Lesleigh Chidawanyika, Court Reporter
Harare provincial magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa has dismissed businessman Pierre Hoffman’s application of refusal of further remand.
In dismissing the application magistrate Mugwagwa said there was no need to remove Hoffman from remand since investigations were almost complete.
She further added that it was miscarriage of justice to remove Hoffman from remand who was arrested last year in November.
Hoffman is facing fraud charges involving US$765 000 and he was recently granted $10 000 bail coupled with some stringent conditions.
As part of his bail conditions, Hoffman was ordered to report twice a week to the police and to surrender his passport.
He was also ordered not to interfere with witnesses and to continue residing at his address; 57 Sunriver Manors, Borrowdale Brooke, Harare, until the matter is finalised.
Hoffman through his lawyer Rungano Mahuni had applied for refusal of further remand arguing that the State had failed to furnish his client with a trial date.
It is the State’s case that on October 28 Shingirai Muringi who is Hoffman’s accomplice approached Henry Abraham and told him that he was looking for US dollars.
Abraham, the State alleged did not have enough foreign currency and mobilised other dealers namely Charles Nyamunda, Codwell Muhoni, Wisdom Hodzi, Rodney Makarutsa, Tinashe Kadzunge, Benard Nyangoni and Nyevero Chibisa to raise the required amount.
Muringi then took the foreign currency dealers to a house in Avondale where they were introduced to Hoffman who advised them that his principal, Kazi wanted US$765 000.
Hoffman allegedly indicated to them that Kazi would transfer $17 212 500 into their bank accounts.
Abraham contributed US$349 000, Nyamunda US$28 000, Muhoni US$100 000, Hodzi US$51 000, Makarutsa US$35 000, Nyangoni US$50 000 while Chibisa contributed US$87 000.
The money is said to have been handed over to Kazi who later sent fraudulent proof of payments to the dealers.
Upon realising that the money was not reflecting in their accounts, the complainants made inquiries with their banks and discovered that the transfers were made from an unfunded account.
They failed to recover the money which prompted them to lodge a complainant with the police.