Daily fraud update: 5th November

Chris Lee

Harare currency dealers left scammed following forex transaction

A group of currency dealers in the Zimbabwean capital Harare claim that they have been scammed out of a sum equivalent to almost $800,000 US dollars.

According to local press in the country, a man named Munir Kamruddin Kazi said that he would send a sum of US dollars upon receiving a certain amount of US dollars.

US dollars are often used on the black market in Zimbabwe given the low value of and inflation risks faced by the local currency.

However, the currency dealers now claim that they did not receive the cash from Kazi.

They were allegedly sent so-called proof that the payments had occurred – but these were later described as fakes.

Kazi appeared in a court alongside a number of alleged accomplices. These were named as Shingirai Muringi and Andre Pierre Hoffman.

The alleged fraudulent transaction is believed to have been arranged in Avondale, which is a suburb of __

In the transaction, the group of dealers – which numbered eight – each handed over a certain sum of cash to Hoffman.

Some allegedly gave him as much as $349 000, while others gave five-figure sums.

American lawyer goes on trial over OneCoin

An American man who stands accused of money laundering over the alleged OneCoin scam has been placed on trial in New York.

Mark Scott has been accused of taking around $400 million US dollars, or just over £300 million pounds, away from the US as part of a sophisticated money laundering process.

In addition to the money laundering charges, it is also alleged that Scott diverted some cash to spend on himself – including the funding of several properties.

However, Scott denies the allegations.

His lawyers have claimed that he had gone to certain lengths to search for evidence of OneCoin’s scams – but had found nothing.

“The central issue at trial will be whether or not Mr Scott knew OneCoin was operating a criminal scheme,” his lawyers said.

The OneCoin story has received renewed attention in recent weeks after it was told in a prominent podcast produced by British broadcaster the BBC.

The firm, which was based around cryptocurrencies, has been hit by a range of fraud accusations.

Overall, it is estimated that £4 billion pounds could have been robbed from traders.

In a statement, US investigators have claimed that the price of Bitcoin was used by those behind OneCoin to promote their services – despite manipulating its price and creating the appearance of a market.

“OneCoin used the success story of Bitcoin to induce victims to invest under the guise that they, too, could get rich through their investments,” they said.

“This was, of course, completely false because the price of OneCoin was a fiction and not based on supply and demand,” they added.

Despite these accusations, OneCoin Ltd is still in existence in Bulgaria. It claims that it has done nothing wrong.

Chris Lee

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