An illegal foreign currency dealer lost R23 000 to a colleague last Friday after allegedly being given fake US dollars in a botched deal in Bulawayo.
The victim had been phoned by the suspect who said he had US$1 400 that he wanted to exchange for the rand.
The two agreed to meet at a hotel in the central business district where the victim was given the fake notes, which had the same serial numbers before he disappeared.
A report was made to the police who are still investigating the matter.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident yesterday.
“We are investigating a case in which a Bulawayo illegal money changer was duped of ZAR23 000 by another money changer who phoned him to exchange US$1 400 at a local hotel on July 10, 2020. After the deal, the complainant found out that he had been given fake US$100 notes with the same serial numbers,” he said.
Cases of people losing foreign currency in Bulawayo have been on the increase this month. Last Friday, four armed robbers snatched US$80 000 from a man believed to be a gold dealer, while he was in his car outside a city centre hotel.
No arrests have since been made and police are investigating the case.
The 29-year-old man was in his Toyota Allex at around 3pm near the intersection of Joshua Nkomo Street and 12 Avenue opposite a hotel when one of the robbers, armed with a pistol, jumped into his vehicle.
The suspect was then joined by his three accomplices and the four manhandled the victim, demanding cash.
They later drove off in the Toyota Allex with the victim, before dumping him in the city centre.
In another case, a worker from a Bulawayo-based hardware company allegedly lost US$30 000 to thieves while in transit to banking the cash after he stopped at a supermarket in the city centre to buy food.
The driver had been sent by one of the directors of the hardware firm in Belmont.
The cash was stolen, according to the report to the police, on June 30, 2020 at about 8am when thieves stole the khaki envelope on the dashboard of the parked Toyota IST during the 10 minutes the driver was in the supermarket.