Harare couple’s $95,000 home seized after purchasing funds linked to fraud – The Zimbabwe Mail

NMB Bank, Nyasha Dumbu

HARARE – The state has successfully seized a luxury home belonging to a former deputy financial manager of NMB Bank, Nyasha Dumbu and his wife Heather, after proving that the house, valued at US$95,000, was purchased with proceeds of crime.

This follows a civil forfeiture application filed by Attorney General Loice Matanda-Moyo on suspicion that the property was contaminated.

High Court Judge Benjamin Chikowero, after hearing submissions from both sides, ruled in favor of the PG ordering the immediate forfeiture of the house in Arlington Estate.

The judge also ruled that Dumbu’s wife, by concealing the crime, was guilty of money laundering.

“In my opinion, the location where the first and second respondents (Dumbu and Heather) obtained the huge amounts to pay the purchase price, a few days after the robbery, is directly related to the robbery.”

He added: “In fact, by participating, associating, aiding and facilitating the acquisition and transfer of title to the property in question to conceal that it was the proceeds of the felony theft, the second defendant (Heather), by civil standard of proof, committed the crime of money laundering.

“Ultimately, I have found that the property itself is the product of conduct that constitutes or is associated with the felony crime of theft. “No other conclusion is possible based on the evidence,” the judge ruled.

The judge ordered Dumbu’s wife to complete and sign all necessary papers and documents to transfer the right, title and interest in the property within seven days.

The court heard between January 2021 and April 2021 that Dumbu, while on duty as assistant finance manager at NMB Bank Zimbabwe, Borrowdale Branch, Harare, conspired with Arthur Munhuuripi, an accounts clerk, to steal ZW$23,425,701-96 from the bank.

The money was equivalent to US$280,046 at the time.

Dumbu’s duties included approving payments before the bank made them, while Munhuuripi’s duties, among others, included capturing payments made by his employers.

“The modus operandi employed by the duo was that Munhuuripi submitted fraudulent payment instructions alleging that organizations called Vertcord Investments and Simrac Enterprise had provided certain services to NMB Bank Zimbabwe and were entitled to receive payments which, on four occasions, amounted to ZWL$23,425. .701.96.

“Dumbu approved the payments. Once the payments reached the accounts of Vetcord Investments and Simrac Enterprise, the money was withdrawn and delivered to Dumbu and Munhuuripi,” it was demonstrated.

Following the discovery of the crime in April 2021, Munhuuripi was arrested and ordered to appear before the Court of First Instance to answer charges of fraud and money laundering.

Dumbu could not be arrested because he then fled the country without even quitting his job.

It is common cause that this triggered the issuance of an arrest warrant and an Interpol red notice against the first defendant, the court said.

Dumbu allegedly bought a house worth $95,000.

His wife claimed to have paid cash to Chengetai Dziwa and Sisa sibanda.

For reasons it did not explain in court, Manokore Attorneys drafted the Memorandum of Assignment Agreement reflecting its name as the sole assignee.

Dumbu’s name was omitted.

When this Memorandum of Transfer Agreement was signed (May 17, 2021), Dumbu had fled the country when the crime committed by him and Munhuuripi at NMB Bank Zimbabwe was detected.

Dumbu’s wife had insisted that she personally buy the house with the money she acquired through a loan.

He attached to his opposition affidavit a loan agreement with Citizens Legal Funeral and Finance Services (Private) Limited.

The document suggested that the latter lent and advanced her an amount of US$100,000 and in turn, she had pledged five motor vehicles and “a 30% stake in Vincus Investments (Pvt) Ltd” as collateral for the loan.

The loan contract was dated January 15, 2021.

Her lawyer, Ms Damiso, urged the court to accept, as reasonable, the explanation that Heather borrowed $100,000 from Citizens Legal Funeral and Finance Services to boost her mining business and withheld $95,000 of the loan amount to purchase the property in question.

The judge found it incredible.

“This explanation is completely unacceptable. It’s just a simple statement.

“It is not supported by any evidence. The fact that the explanation is contained in an affidavit does not transform it into evidence,” the judge said.

“There is also no evidence that the sum of $95,000 changed hands between the second respondent, on the one hand, and Chengetai Dziwa and Patience Sibanda, on the other.

“It is not disputed that the first respondent and Munhuuripi, acting in collusion, had recently stolen huge sums of money from the bank,” he said.

The judge said the fact that Dziwa and Sibanda had written a letter claiming to have sold a house to the couple four days after the money was stolen was not a coincidence, but that they were planning to conceal the crime. – ZimLive