FOUR Colcom Foods Mutare branch employees who allegedly defrauded their employer of more than $13 million are said to have spent their loot on luxury vehicles and residential properties across the city.
Detectives investigating the under-invoicing scandal have since confiscated three vehicles,including a Mercedes Benz C Class and a Toyota Mark X plus.
They are also tracing the properties that are believed to have been bought by proceeds of the crime.
Sources that are privy to the investigations revealed that the suspects are living lavish lifestyles most likely funded by the ill-gotten money.
The suspects, Aaron Manyere (30), Collins Mutare (32), Noreen Bvuma (35) and Tinashe Ndere (29) appeared before Mutare magistrate, Ms Perseverance Makala last week on Friday.
The quartet is facing charges of contravening Section 136 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23.
They were granted $20 000 bail each.
Their lawyer, Mr Chris Ndlovu of Gonese and Ndlovu Legal Practitioners, said he will soon file court papers to facilitate the return of his clients’ properties.
“There is really no case here, my clients are innocent and they have been wrongly accused.
“We want the properties back and we will soon file papers to make that request,” he said.
Public prosecutor, Mr Tafadzwa Chiwanza, told the court that the fraud was exposed after management at the Mutare branch noticed some profit discrepancies on some of the goods.
Allegations are that on June 10, Mr Rodney Mukarati who is Colcom Foods Mutare branch manager, had a query on a product’s gross profit based on the branch’s weekly sales report.
He then informed the company’s Harare-based business solution analyst, Mr Nhlanhla Sigogo, about his concerns.
During the course of investigations, Mr Sigogo managed to retrieve a receipt which showed that some products had been sold at $2 860.97, instead of $172 067,73.
Mr Sigogo also made an analysis in the computer system and discovered that Manyere misrepresented that the products had been sold to a debtor account, Manica Produce, when it was actually a cash sale.
Manyere allegedly did this for the computer system to allow the under charge so that he could convert the difference to personal use.
Mr Sigogo then checked the computer records from the year 2020 to date.
He discovered that from April 2020, the three other suspects had employed the same modus operandi to defraud the company.
In all the fraudulent transactions, the suspects allegedly used Manica Produce’s dormant account, save for one transaction done by Mutare dated July 5, 2021 in which he used the Colcom service promo account which is only used for donating products at the cost price.