Chinese businessman loses $700 000 to fellow Chinese men in Harare

Three Chinese men allegedly fleeced their fellow countryman of $700 000 after promising him vast business opportunities in Zimbabwe.

Wu Zizhong, Wang Zemin and Milao Quiqi yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Barbara Chimboza, who remanded them to August 12. Prosecuting, Ms Linda Gadzikwa told the court that Wu was the owner of Sparkwealth Investments (Pvt) Ltd situated in Willowvale, Harare.

The trio started living in Zimbabwe in 2011.

It is alleged that sometime in March 2013, the trio met the complainant in China and advised him that there were vast business opportunities in Zimbabwe.

They allegedly sweet-talked him into forming a joint venture company in Zimbabwe which they would call Zimbabwe Traders (Pvt) Ltd.

It is alleged that the complainant agreed and the parties signed a Memorandum of Agreement.

They agreed that the complainant would source capital to fund the project.

The trio returned to Zimbabwe and between 2014 and 2015, the complainant sourced $700 000 and used the money to buy raw materials and various machines as per the trio’s specifications.

The goods were allegedly shipped to Zimbabwe.

The court heard that the trio shared the consignment and opened separate companies, contrary to their agreement.

The offence came to light in 2015 when the trio stopped communicating with the complainant, prompting him to send his son on a fact-finding mission.

The investor’s son discovered that the trio was operating businesses in Zimbabwe without his father’s involvement.

The complainant later came to Zimbabwe and realised that there was no joint company, plus all the equipment had been sold.

He lost $700 000 and nothing was recovered.

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