A 39-year-old Chinese national Zhao Jiaotong, accused of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public of over US$1 million through the E-creator Ponzi scheme has been denied bail by a Harare magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa.

Jiaotong is jointly charged with who have also been denied bail on grounds of being flight risks.

The trio is facing fraud allegations involving US$1 million.

It is alleged that Jiaotong, Tapfunaneyi, Kuchekenya and their accomplices, Billy Thomas Syedou, Abraham Mutambu and others still at large, registered E-Creator Economic Commerce Private Limited in February as an online e-commerce operator.

They went on to misrepresent to their investors that they would enjoy monthly returns depending on the mounts invested and thousands of Zimbabweans joined, investing thousands of dollars via 50 Ecocash numbers they had been given.

They appointed Madam Boss and Mama Vee as their brand ambassadors.

They also engaged various agents in major towns and cities throughout the country to market their Ponzi scheme.

On July 3, some of the subscribers encountered challenges in accessing their funds and approached the company for clarification. 

Investors were assured that there was a system upgrade, but they discovered on July 5 that E-Creator was no-longer operational.

A picture of Jiaotong was posted on the website, with a message that he had absconded to China with all the money.

The three have denied all allegations levelled against them and are seeking bail.

However, the prosecution argues that they are a flight risk and may interfere with witnesses.

The case has caused a stir in Zimbabwe as many people had invested their life savings in the company.

The authorities have warned the public against get-rich-quick schemes and urged them to be cautious when investing their money.