Mr Reuben Malunda (30) of West Nicholson in Gwanda District met the unknown suspect who was driving a BMW car at Mpilo Central Hospital parking lot on Saturday.
The two are said to have had a small chat in the suspect's car before the suspect told Mr Malunda that they should complete their business deal in the office.
Mr Malunda who was carrying a bag with R50 000 was encouraged to leave his bag in the car as they moved to the office.
The suspect, who did not tell his victim which department he worked in at the referral hospital told Mr Malunda to wait for him at the hospital's casualty department entrance for a moment while he dealt with a minor issue.
Mr Malunda waited while the unknown suspect made good his escape. National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the case stating that Mr Malunda discovered that he had been duped after waiting in vain for the suspect to return.
"We are investigating a case where a 30-year-old man from West Nicholson in Gwanda was duped of R50 000 by an unknown suspect at Mpilo Central Hospital. The incident occurred on February 20, 2021 where the suspect was phoned by someone telling him to meet him at Mpilo Central Hospital as he wanted to be involved in his car parts selling business," said Asst Comm Nyathi.
"This was after the victim had discussed about his car parts selling business in a public transport vehicle in mid-February as he was coming from Gwanda. One of the persons in the same vehicle expressed interest in joining the complainant in his business and took his number and advised that someone would get in touch with him."
He said Mr Malunda was called by the person who told him they should meet at the hospital to discuss the way forward.
"So, they met at the hospital where the accused was found in a BMW parked at a parking area within the hospital's premises. Surprisingly, the victim did not ask the person's name, his particulars and which department he worked at the hospital. He did not take the vehicle's registration number and was told to leave his bag in the car as they proceeded to the suspect's office within the hospital premises," he said.
"The bag had R50 000 so the suspect went to the hospital's casualty department and at its entrance he asked the complainant to wait for him by the door. As he waited the suspect is said to have used the other entrance to escape. After waiting for a long time, he became suspicious and started searching for him at the hospital's premises and could not find him. His car could not be found where it had been parked and his phone had been switched off. That is when he realised that he had been duped."
Asst Comm Nyathi said police in their investigations are casting their net wider as they believe Mr Malunda could have been swindled by a group of people. He said it was worrying that members of the public continue to lose large sums of money recklessly.
"Members of the public should do due diligence before engaging in any business transactions. They should assess if the person they are dealing with is a genuine buyer, verify if the claimed workplace is real because some criminals are lying just to dupe unsuspecting members of the public as it happened with this case," he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi said anyone who might have information which may lead to the arrest of the suspect should report at the nearest police station as investigations are ongoing
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