Businessman charged with $2,7 million fraud, money-laundering

HARARE businessman Arthur Chikukwa appeared before High Court judge Justice Tapiwa Chitapi yesterday facing fraud and money-laundering charges after he allegedly swindled prospective coal miners of over $2,7 million in a botched mining deal.

Chikukwa is alleged to have misrepresented to Salim Suleman Desai of Lightglass Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, that he was selling his coal mining concession in Tuli, Matabeleland South province, held under Special Grant number 5341 in the name of Rockrabbit Investments (Pvt) Ltd.

Sometime between July 2014 and December 2015, the parties sealed the deal, culminating in Desai surrendering house number 30 Stonechat Lane, Borrowdale in Harare, a Toyota Prado (registration number ABR 4643), a Toyota Lexus (registration number ACD 5457) and $125 000 to Chikukwa.

“Whereas in truth and actual fact when Arthur Chikukwa made the misrepresentations, he well knew he had not obtained authority to sell the said Special Grant to Lightglass,” the State papers read.
Businessman charged with $2,7 million fraud, money-laundering
In the alternative to the fraud charge, Chikukwa is being charged with “ceding or assigning any rights without authority from the President of Zimbabwe”.

In respect of the money-laundering charge, the State alleges during the same period, Chikukwa received, possessed, concealed and disposed of the two motor vehicles, cash and the residential stand well knowing or suspecting that at the time of receipt of such property that the said money and goods were proceeds of crime.

“That is to say, Arthur Chikukwa acquired, used or possessed property and money mentioned in the charge knowing that at the time of receipt that such amounts of money and property were proceeds of a crime of fraud.”

Chikukwa, who was not asked to plead to the charges, is expected to file his defence when the trial commences on August 16.

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