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Harare Magistrate Court Dismisses Fraudster Michael Smith Appeal

Harare magistrate Mrs. Ethel Chichera dismissed yet another attempt by suspected fraudster Michael Smith to delay proceedings, as he faces 40 counts of fraud and concealing transactions from his principal. Smith’s persistent filing of exceptions has stymied progress in the trial, despite none being upheld thus far.

In this instance, Smith argued that the charge sheet lacked clarity, but the court ruled otherwise, allowing him to plead to the charges. Despite his lawyer’s plea for an adjournment to March 27, the State, led by Mr. Anesu Chirenje, opposed, citing the diligent attendance of witnesses since November 2022. Consequently, the trial is set to resume on March 15.

The State is prepared to present testimony from 38 witnesses, detailing Smith’s alleged defrauding of MA Auto Suppliers, trading as Mr. Cruiser, of significant sums in both US dollars and South African rand. Additionally, Smith faces charges related to the misappropriation of trust property.

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Smith’s alleged misconduct includes failing to disclose to his colleague, Michael Scot Asher, the use of a third-party entity, Mant Procurement (Pvt) Ltd, for payment to South African suppliers during Asher’s absence in Australia during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, Michael Smith purportedly imported goods under the company’s name before selling them for personal gain. He is also accused of failing to account for service charges received from acquaintances after utilizing company resources.

The State asserts that Mant Procurement overcharged MA Auto Suppliers, resulting in significant financial losses. Evidence suggests Smith utilized company resources for personal transactions, including the sale of imported goods and the misappropriation of funds intended for the company.

During previous court appearances, the investigating officer provided evidence of Smith’s alleged offenses, supplemented by data extracted from various communication devices by the Police Cyber Lab.



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