Harare: 3 Chitungwiza youths allegedly masqueraded as members of the Central Intelligence Organisation and duped a woman of $2 000 after offering to assist her recover a $2 500 debt.

Admire Gowera (27), Kudakwashe Gwama (26) and Tendai Chiondo (25), appeared before Chitungwiza magistrate Mr Oliver Mudzongachiso. They pleaded not guilty to fraud charges and were remanded to June 29 for trial on their cognisance.

The complainant is Rutendo Vannessa. Prosecutor Mr Edmond Ndambakuwa alleged that sometime in November last year Vannessa loaned $2 500 to Rachel Muzilikazi.

The court heard that Muzilikazi is a friend to Vannessa’s hus- band.The pair agreed that the money was to be repaid within four days. Muzilikazi surrendered the registration book of a Nissan Elgrand as surety and signed an affidavit to the effect that Vannessa was entitled to the vehicle in the event that she failed to repay the money.

After four days Muzilikazi was allegedly nowhere to be found and the residential address she supplied on the affidavit turned out to be false. Vannessa was approached by Gowera, who is also her husband’s friend, who offered to help recover the $2 500 or the vehicle.

 Gowera allegedly introduced himself as a member of the CIO “vehicle theft squad”. It is alleged that he requested the affidavit, vehicle registration book and $18 to track the vehicle.

Vannessa was subsequently introduced to Gowera’s colleague, Ian Charehwa, who requested $40. In March this year Vannessa was allegedly advised that the vehicle had been impounded by the police in Murewa.

It is alleged that Charehwa demanded $80 to facilitate the release of the vehicle and $100 for spare parts. Charehwa went to Vannessa’s house in April in the company of Gwama and Chiondo with the Nissan Elgrand (registration number ADJ 6762).

It is alleged that Gwama and Chiondo were introduced as CID vehicle theft squad police officers who were going to assist with change of owner- ship.

The trio requested $464 which was sent via EcoCash to Chiondo’s number. It is alleged that Charehwa requested another $800 and $399.

When Vannessa pestered the acused for the release of the vehicle, the three became evasive.She lost $2 000 to the trio. state media