Ministry of Defence and War Veterans Affairs lost USD$2 700 000 to a bogus travel agency that fraudulently submitted invoices and got paid for non-existent air tickets for 79 Zimbabwe National Army officers who wanted to travel outside the country.
The accused, Moreen Tatenda Nago appeared at the Harare Magistrates court today facing fraud charges.
Allegations are that on 6 November 2016, Nago and her co-accused Shepherd Chiriga who is already on bail pending trial registered their own company called Cheryl Ethan Travel Services Private Limited.
It is said that sometimes in July 2019, the accused person in connivance with Chiriga and the other accused Danison Muvandi, who is on the run, hatched a plan to deceive the ministry of defence through representation that Cheryl Ethan Travel Services (PVT) had purchased air tickets for 79 Zimbabwe National Army Officers who wanted to travel outside the country.
The state is of the case that the trio presented an invoice to the ministry with a total amount of US$ 2 700 546 and the invoice purported as if Cheryl Ethan Travel Services had rendered travel services to the ministry of defence and war veterans affairs yet in the truth and in actual fact the accused knew that Cheryl Travel Services had not purchased the said air tickets for the army members to travel during the time in question.
Muvandi, who is the Director of Finance in the ministry of defence and war veterans affairs recommended and authorized payment into Cherly Ethan Travel Private Limited company on the 16th of July 2019.
The money was later transferred into different accounts of the three accused persons.
However, investigations were carried out and it was found out that the trio did not render any travel services to government.
The complainant in this matter is the state represented by Ambassador Mark Gray Marongwe who is the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Defense and War Veterans Affairs.