A prominent Bulawayo businessman, Mr Phathisani Nkomo, has been defrauded by a Harare car dealer who allegedly sold him a Ford Ranger 2017 series worth US$43 000 which was stolen from South Africa.
Nkomo, the proprietor of Cosmopolitan Nightclub, Zarah Lounge, Cubana, among other businesses, allegedly swapped his black Range Rover and then topped up US$11 500 to buy the stolen car.
Bulawayo acting police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident.
Insp Ncube said Mr Nkomo bought the vehicle from a Harare businessman in a vehicle swap and top up scheme.
“We have recovered a Ford Ranger 2017 series that was allegedly stolen from South Africa. CID received a tip off that a Bulawayo businessman, Phathisani Nkomo (47), of Kumalo suburb was in possession of a suspected stolen double cab white Ford Ranger with fake number plate AEZ 9960. The vehicle did not have a rear number plate. After police engaged him he revealed that he had bought the vehicle from a Harare businessman man who is now a suspect and has been arrested and is assisting cops with investigations,” he said.
Insp Ncube said Mr Nkomo revealed that he surrendered his black Range Rover to the car dealer.
“He revealed that he also made a US$11 500 payment for the car as the vehicle he wanted was worth US$43 000. Police investigations revealed that the fake number plate on the stolen vehicle was for a Nissan Tiida,” he said.
Insp Ncube said police have already contacted Interpol who confirmed that the Ford Ranger was stolen in South Africa.
He said police are now awaiting for the South African vehicle owner to come and identify his stolen car.
“We therefore appeal to those buying cars to be on the alert so that they don’t fall prey to unscrupulous people. We encourage those intending to buy cars locally to visit the Vehicle Theft Squad who can assist them in checking the real owners of cars they intend to buy,” said Insp Ncube.