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Byo businessman in scandalous financial deals

Bulawayo business tycoon, Mohammed Zakariya Patel, is involved in scandalous financial deals of money laundering, externalisation of funds and illicit finance acts amounting to millions of United States dollars dating back to 2018, CITE has established.

In confidential documents seen by CITE, it appears Patel carried out the transactions through his accountant Ismail Moosa Lunat. 

The illicit money transfers were carried out in 2018 through Zimbabwean banks that include CBZ, NMB, Stanbic Ecobank and others.

Documents indicate that the politically-connected Patel is also involved in bribery and illegal selling and buying of foreign currency.

In one of his conversations with Lunat, Patel is quoted as saying: “If I give you USD 200k cash, to go to his office with, do you think it will be enough of an incentive for him to finish this once and for all?”

He further says: “Looking for bond this week. 55k and can give you Rand in South Africa for it all.”

The confidential documents also reveal that the business tycoon is also involved in gold deals.

He is quoted in one of the conversations with his accountant as saying: “Please do not forget to check on that company for me and I also need date for Hitesh finalising. It’s Borrowdale and total was 3.68 million cash and 87kg gold.”

In another conversation between Patel and Lunat, Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister, Raji Modi is also implicated in foreign currency deals, through his company Sai Enterprises.

Lunat: Mhodi is waiting for a rate.

Patel: Try get me a good deal I’m dying. 

Lunat: I tried at 280 he says no.

The destinations for the illicit money transfers include the United States, Canada, China and the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

In one transaction the destination bank is given as JP Morgan Chase Bank, New York,

Swift Code # CHASUS33, ABA # 021000021.

One of the documents reads: “Pay to the Beneficiary’s Bank:  Royal Bank of Canada.”

The details are given as follows:

Bank Address

1881 Steels Ave W

Toronto, ON. M3H5Y4

Swift Code # ROYCCAT2

Beneficiary’s Name: 10992437 CANADA

INCOPORATED 

Beneficiary’s Account Number #: 1000348

Branch Number #: 00157

Financial Institution Number #003

Beneficiary’s Address:

98 CRIMSON FOREST DRIVE

MAPLE ONTARIO

L6A4Z8.”

In another transaction banking details are shown as follows:

HABIB BANK AG ZURICH

JEBEL ALI BRANCH, DUBAI U.A.E

SWIFT CODE: HBZUAEADXXX

ACCOUNT NAME: DAIICHI TRADING LLC

IBAN: AE 330 290 920 311 333177 908

PAYMENT DETAILS: INVOICE NO. 5327

In an Emirates Islamic Bank transaction the banking details are given as follows:

Account No:  370 – 73357979-01

IBAN: AE300340003707335797901.

A letter from the bank reads: “ONLINE BANKING REEFERENCE NUMBER: 104546001. This is to inform you that the telegraphic transfer dated 8th nov 2018, was deducted from account number 3707335797901 to account number 00157-4001129. This letter was given upon your request without any responsibility from Emirates Islamic Bank.”

The documents indicate there was US$45, 000 that Lunat was asked by Patel to transfer to Dubai in an undisclosed deal.

According to the papers there was a payment of US$100, 000 for what is described as Hitesh.

In one of the deals there was an erroneous transfer of over US$470, 000. 

In a letter by FMC Finance (Private) Limited, dated 29 October 2018 and addressed to NMB manager in Harare and signed by one R.M Mavhunga a reversal of that transaction was sought.

“We erroneously transferred funds amounting to $473, 334, 00 to Modern, NMB Account # 0000280250511 Avondale branch,” reads the letter.

“Kindly reverse the transaction and effect the proceeds to the account detailed below:

Account Name:           Petromocexor

Bank:                           NMB

Branch:                       Southerton

Branch code:               11108

Account #:                   310088404

Amount:                      $473,334. Kindly acknowledge receipt by signing and returning the attached copy of this letter.”

There were also numerous other transactions that include a transfer through CBZ Bank of US$2, 7 million by Telecoms to Stapnic Investments on 21 December 2018.

On 8 November 2018, there was a transfer of US$236, 666, 00 to FMC Finance Zimbabwe through Ecobank.

There was a payment through Nedbank of ZAR 500, 000, 00 and ZAR 495, 000, 00 to SLS Marketing through First National Bank account number 479931 on 16 November 2018. 

In another confidential document dated 05 December 2018, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) questioned deposits of $59, 000, 00 into the accounts of Blessing Takawira and Munyaradzi Chikava from a company known as Rollright Consultancy.

Some payments were made to a Dubai company, Daaiichi Trading LLC, Mondore Investments, which received US$180, 000 on 24 October 2018, through FMC Finance and CBZ Bank.

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