Crime and Courts

Fugitive Bulawayo con artist finally arrested after fleecing dozens of tenants

A notorious Bulawayo con artist Gerald Sibanda has finally been arrested after being on the run for several years following cases in which he allegedly scammed over 80 people on the pretext he was facilitating rented accommodation for them.

Sibanda’s luck ran out on Tuesday at James Court in Bulawayo central after some of his victims, real estate agents and police combined to set up a trap.

He faces several counts of fraud.

While on the loose, Sibanda would win his unsuspecting targets’ trust by telling them he was a pastor and a magistrate.

He was caught after placing an advert offering a house to let.

Some of his victims, joined hands with police to pretend they were potential clients interested in occupying the house.

Police finally cornered him when he visited the advertised house to meet a decoy client.

Sibanda’s victims had formed a WhatsApp group comprising of 80 members to try and keep up with information concerning his whereabouts.

Appearing before a Bulawayo magistrate Maxwell Ncube, Sibanda pleaded guilty to some of the counts.

He was later granted US$200 bail and is set to appear in court on April 25, 2024.

Facts of the cases are that Sibanda would advertise apartments and houses that he did not own.

Most of the houses were under renovation.

He would lie to some of his victims that the properties’ owners lived abroad and the houses were left under caretakers.

Working in cahoots with some caretakers and contractors who were on site in such houses, Sibanda would pretend to be the owner of the properties.

He would then offer to rent out the same premises to countless people taking deposits and in some cases, full rentals.

One of the complainants who spoke to ZimLive said she was fleeced out of US$1,200.

Some of Sibanda’s cases are still not in court.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button