A businessman who made headlines for allegedly duping illegal foreign currency dealers of US$765 000 is now claiming that he was kidnapped, forcibly bundled into a car boot and taken to an unknown place where he was assaulted.

Munir Kamruddin Kazi (45) who already made his initial appearance in court for fraud charges filed charges of kidnapping, malicious damage to property, assault and pointing of a firearm against the foreign currency dealers he allegedly duped.

The matter was reported at Highlands Police Station under RRB 4122383.

Kazi alleges that he was kidnapped from his office and was forcibly bundled into one of the forex dealers’ car boot in movie style. He claimed the forex dealers drove to an unknown place where they assaulted him. In his statement to the police, he claims after the assault, the dealers drove him back to his office where they damaged his property.

The matter has since been referred to CID Homicide as it involved the use of a firearm. Kazi and Shingirai Levison Muringi (28), appeared before Harare magistrate Learnmore Mapiye charged with fraud last week.

They were released on $10 000 bail with stringent conditions to report twice a week at Commercial Crimes Division, surrendering of passports, continue residing at given addresses and no interference with witnesses. They were remanded to December 7. Kazi is unemployed while Muringi is a director at Paradigm Shift Communications.

On his charges, the State alleges that on October 28, Muringi approached Kazi who was looking for United States dollars in exchange for bank transfer. The court heard that Kazi then roped in money changers, Charles Nyamunda Jounet, Codwelll Muhoni, Wisdom Hodzi, Rodney Makarutsa, Benard Nyangoni, Nyevero Chibisa, Tinashe Kadzunge and Henry Abraham who gave him amounts varying from US$28 000 to US$349 000.

On the same day Jounet, Hodzi and Makarutsa accompanied Muringi to a house in Avondale where they were introduced to Andre Hoffman who is still at large. Hoffman allegedly indicated that his principal, Kazi, would transfer the equivalent of US dollars that the money changers had offered them into their bank accounts.

It was alleged that Jounet then handed over the total of US$765 000 to Kazi and Hoffman in exchange for $17 212 500. The complainants were told that the transfer was being processed and around 6 pm Kazi sent fictitious proof of payments allegedly from a local bank prompting the money changers to leave the place satisfied that they had received their money.

After realising that the funds had not reflected in their respective bank accounts, the money changers made enquiries with their banks and realised that the transfers were made from an unfunded account, Kazi and Muringi were confronted by the complainants who demanded their money back but they could not refund and a police report was filed leading to the duo’s arrest.