Harvest house church loses $200k to a fraudster. Hussein Noor (43) of Avondale suburb in Harare allegedly duped the church represented by its administrator Mr Mhlangabezi Ndlovu of Pumula South suburb. Bulawayo magistrate Ms Ulukile Mlea-Ndlovu yesterday heard that Noor told Mr Ndlovu that he was the managing Director of Stone Craft Corporation Africa Limited.
A man from Harare has appeared in court for allegedly defrauding Harvest House International Church of $200 000 after falsely claiming that he could supply bricks for the construction of a church auditorium in Bulawayo’s Woodlands suburb. He allegedly promised to supply the church with 300 000 bricks for the construction of its auditorium. Noor was not asked to plead to a fraud charge and was remanded out of custody on bail to November 11 for trial.
Prosecuting, Mr Mufaro Mageza said sometime in April this year, Noor heard that the church was in the process of constructing an auditorium. Between August 2 and August 16 this year, Noor allegedly hatched a plan to defraud the church.
“On August 2, the accused person phoned Bishop Colin Nyathi who is the head and founder of the church and introduced himself as Zaine H. Noor, the managing director of Stone Craft Corporation Africa Limited,” said Mr Mageza.
“He said the company situated in Harare was in the business of manufacturing and supplying bricks.” Noor allegedly sent the bishop samples of the bricks via WhatsApp and promised to bring the actual samples for physical inspection later.
“As a precautionary measure, Bishop Nyathi phoned two reverends in Harare to check on the capacity and authenticity of the accused person’s alleged company,” said Mr Mageza. Bishop Nyathi allegedly gave the reverends Noor’s contact details and when they contacted him, he told them to meet him at Willdale Bricks, along Lomagundi Road in Mount Hampden just outside Harare.
Upon arrival at Willdale Bricks, Noor took the reverends on a tour of the plant and claimed that he was its managing director. He allegedly claimed that Stone Craft Corporation Africa Limited was a subsidiary of Willdale Bricks.
Noor told the reverends that he could supply all the bricks in two weeks and they believed him. He allegedly then met Bishop Nyathi at the church’s headquarters in Bulawayo and showed him samples of bricks which he claimed had been manufactured by his company.
Noor allegedly left a business card under the name Zaine H. Noor. On the same day, Noor allegedly sent the bishop an email with a signed contract between his company and the bishop which the latter signed and returned.
Bishop Nyathi then directed Mr Ndlovu to deposit RTGS$200 000 for the bricks into Tichmil investments’ bank account supplied by the accused person. Noor allegedly never delivered the bricks and Mr Ndlovu later discovered that the company was non-existent. He reported the matter to the police leading to Noor’s arrest.
Source – The Chronicle
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