A FOURTH suspect in the case of E-Creator Electronic Commerce company that swindled several people of US$1 million in a ponzi scheme was arrested and appeared in court on Saturday.
Abraham Mutambu, who had relocated to his rural home in Chihota evading arrest, appeared before magistrate Yeukai Dzuda, who remanded him to today for bail application.
Allegations are that sometime in January 2023, the accused teamed up with Jao Jiatong, Trymore Tapfumanei and Justine Muchekenya, who are already on remand for the same case and other accused persons still at large and hatched a plan to defraud unsuspecting Zimbabweans through an online investment Ponzi scheme.
On February 7, 2023, they formed and registered a company with the Zimbabwean Registrar of Companies called E-Creator Electronic Commerce (Pvt) Limited under company registration number 2853/23 with its offices situated in rooms 15 and 16 on the 10th floor of Joina City Building in central Harare.
The accused persons went on to launch the company as an online e-commerce operator with a global internet as its domain.
It is alleged that between February and July 2023, the accused, who was based at the company’s head office at Joina City, connived with his co-accused persons and misrepresented to unsuspecting thousands of Zimbabweans that if they invested with the company, they would earn huge monthly profits depending on the amount invested.
Many Zimbabweans from across the country flocked to join the company and invested an estimated US$1 million through various EcoCash numbers supplied on the platform by the accused.
To make the company more attractive and appealing to unsuspecting victims, the accused appeared on national television and social media platforms advertising its services and recruiting more victims to the scheme.
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The accused went on to open more branches for the company across the country and recruited more people to the scheme.
On July 3, 2023, some of the complainants encountered challenges in accessing their funds and approached the company for clarification.
The accused assured the complainants that a system upgrade was restricting them from accessing their funds.
The accused further advised them that the situation would normalise in due course.
However, on July 5, 2023 the complainants were shocked to realise that the E-Creator scheme had collapsed with all their invested monies and all withdrawals had been blocked.
Investigations led to the arrest of the other three accused persons who are remanded in custody.
Further investigations led to the arrest of the accused, who had relocated to the Chihota communal areas.
As a result of the accused’s actions, complainants were prejudiced US$1 million and nothing was recovered.