A 26-YEAR-OLD Harare woman, Lorrain Chengeta, who allegedly masqueraded as a United States immigrant and swindled an unsuspecting local company director of $3 150, yesterday, appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts charged with fraud.
Chengeta, who is employed as a waitress in South Africa, pleaded not guilty to the charge when she appeared before Harare magistrate Vakai Douglas Chikwekwe and was remanded out of custody on $200 bail.
Allegations against Chengeta are that on March 8 she contacted and befriended the unnamed director on social media platform, WhatsApp, using the name Lelaine Amani Slim Chiwenga through a South African mobile number.
It is alleged, two days later, the complainant, whose identity was not revealed in court papers, started communicating with Chengeta and asked her to purchase a Samsung Edge 7 mobile phone and a Louis Vuitton designer bag for him in the US.
Chengeta, it is alleged, agreed to buy the items on his behalf and advised the director to deposit money into a CABS Bank account, which he did.
The State further alleges the deposited cash was later withdrawn from the bank and sent to Chengeta by one Ian Tinashe Makomeya through a mobile money transfer with Chengeta confirming receipt of the cash.
Chengeta, however, is said to have sent the director photos of the Samsung Edge 7 and the Louis Vuitton bag purporting to have purchased them.
The State also alleges the director only became suspicious of trickery after he checked Chengeta’s WhatsApp status since she had stopped using the South African mobile number and became evasive.
He then made a police report on March 29 and investigations commenced, leading to Chengeta’s arrest last Sunday.
Investigations into the matter revealed that the numbers used in the mobile money transfers belong to Chengeta and her mother.
Sebastian Mutizirwa is appearing for the State.