Two Harare scammers allegedly hacked into a Hwange Electricity Supply Company (HESCO) email communication with the Hwange Rural District Council and diverted over ZW$2 billion meant for a power generating project into a fake bank account which they had allegedly created to funnel the loot.
The suspects, Fungisai Ngorima, (59) and Trust Shone appeared before Harare Magistrate Donald Ndiroweyi last week facing fraud charges and they were each granted US$300 bail.
It is alleged that Ngorima and Shone substituted the destination account numbers with theirs to steal the money from HESCO.
Appearing for the state, Anesu Chirenje said in 2018, HESCO set up a power-generating project on land that is controlled by the Hwange Rural District Council.
The company was advised to pay a development levy of US$375,820 to Hwange RDC through the bank.
Whilst the complainant was processing the payment, the accused connived, hacked the communication and changed the email address of the accused persons then sent an email to HESCO using [email protected] omitting 6 and requesting some banking details of the bank which the complainant was going to use to make payment.
It is alleged that HESCO told the “client” that they were going to pay in RTGS and the pair allegedly misrepresented to HESCO that Hwange RDC had revised their banking details and was now using another account number.
On November 7 the complainant transferred ZW$2,149,806,026.83 from its account number into a new bank account, reads court papers.
On the next day, HESCO’s Finance and Administration officer Wellington Muchabaiwa made a follow-up of the payment by calling Hwange RDC engineer Alic Mudenda whom he had been communicating over the payment issue.
Mudenda denied any receipt of the money which Muchabaiwa investigated and later discovered the email initially used to order the payment had been tampered with.
Muchabaiwa was told the money was still in the suspect’s bank account when he contacted the bank to reverse the payment and the money was recovered.