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Harare Magistrate Denies Fraudster Smith’s Bid to Delay Trial Amid Allegations of Substantial Fraud

Mrs. Ethel Chichera, a magistrate in Harare, has once again rejected suspected fraudster Michael Smith’s attempt to delay proceedings in his case, where he faces 40 counts of fraud and concealing transactions. Smith’s repeated filing of exceptions has hindered progress in the trial, despite none being successful thus far.

In this particular instance, Smith argued that the charge sheet was unclear, but the court disagreed, allowing him to enter a plea. Despite his lawyer’s request for a postponement until March 27, the State, represented by Mr. Anesu Chirenje, opposed this, noting the consistent attendance of witnesses since November 2022. Consequently, the trial is scheduled to resume on March 15.

The State is ready to present testimony from 38 witnesses, outlining Smith’s alleged defrauding of MA Auto Suppliers, trading as Mr. Cruiser, of substantial amounts in both US dollars and South African rand. Additionally, fraudster Smith faces charges related to the mishandling of trust property.

Smith’s alleged misconduct includes not informing his colleague, Michael Scot Asher, about the use of a third-party entity, Mant Procurement (Pvt) Ltd, for payments to South African suppliers while Asher was absent in Australia during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Furthermore, Michael Smith purportedly brought in goods under the company’s name before selling them for his own profit. He is also accused of failing to explain service charges received from acquaintances after utilizing company resources.

The State alleges that Mant Procurement overcharged MA Auto Suppliers, resulting in significant financial losses. Evidence indicates that Smith used company resources for personal transactions, including selling imported goods and misappropriating funds meant for the company.

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

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