Home » Judicial » Woman Loses U.S $200 000 to Conmen

A five-member gang of self-styled private investigators extorted more than US$200 000 from a Karoi woman who had hired them to investigate the movement of her husband whom she suspected of having an extra-marital affair.

The money was milked from Trish Troopteeben Rama (44) of Karoi using extra-judicial means such as threats of violence, death and disappearance after she indicated that she no longer needed their services.

The five – Timothy Maurawa Mwandami (42), Maxwell Shiridzinonwa (34), Beatrice Kavheya (31), Joshua Sithole (35) and Mary Fundisi (24) – yesterday appeared before Chinhoyi magistrate Mr Singandu Jele for initial remand facing extortion charges.

Mwandami and Shiridzinonwa are directors at Track Group Zimbabwe (Private) Limited based at Daventry House in Harare while Kavheya is Shiridzinonwa’s girlfriend and the other two are not employed.

Mr Jele remanded them out of custody to July 18 on own recognition.

Mr Lucky Dube for the State alleges that sometime in May 2012, Mrs Rama suspected her husband (name not disclosed in court papers) of having an affair with an unknown woman.

She contracted the five as private investigators to monitor the husband’s movements.

The agreement ran from May 21 to November of the same year.

However, on December 7 she served the five with a letter of withdrawal and this did not go down well with the gang as they kept on demanding more money.

After realising that she had money, the five kept on serving her with letters of demand stating that CIO operatives who assisted them to bash the girlfriend of her husband needed more money.

Mwandami went on to send various WhatsApp messages demanding money and threatening her with death for failing to pay the money and honour her debts which kept rising with each letter of demand.

As a result of the barrage of letters, phone calls and threats, Mrs Rama parted with US$200 744 and as she feared for her life and destroying her marriage.

Things came to a head on February 17, 2014 when a trap was set for Shiridzinonwa, who had come to Karoi demanding to be paid US$50 275.

Shiridzinonwa implicated Kavheya, Mwandami, Fundisi, Sithole leading to their arrest.

Rama was accompanied by her husband who is said to have discovered that money was missing from his shop in Karoi, leading to the matter coming to light.

Police recovered receipts, letters, invoices, WhatsApp messages, call history records, breakdown of payments made and a file Number A0003A, which will be used as exhibits in court.

Source : The Herald