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TM Pick n Pay loses ZWL$22 million to scammers

TM Pick n Pay, discount

Back to back scam stories and it isn’t even lunchtime (at the time of writing). Earlier on we reported on former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s name being used in a Nigerian Prince Scam. And we are following that up with a story about massive retailer TM Pick n Pay losing ZWL$22 million to scammers.

In a report by The Herald, TM Pick n Pay was deceived by an email that was penned in the name of the retailer’s Financial Manager, Raymond Matsetsa. The email gave instruction to the accounting staff to send money from TM’s Steward Bank account to four companies:

  • Simrac Investments (ZWL$10 million)
  • Leechiz (ZWL3 million)
  • Madzara Investment (ZWL$7 million)
  • Maalocka Pvt Ltd (ZWL$2 million)

The transfers were made on the 28th of January 2021 but TM Pick n Pay only discovered the alleged crime on the 3rd of March. When the discovery was made the transaction was disputed with the Financial Manager saying that the email had been doctored.

Police have arrested a Tonderai Chagweda in some connection with the alleged crime. Speaking on the matter ZRP Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the following:

“We are conducting investigations into the matter. We are also appealing to members of the public with information to come forward and assist the police to arrest other suspects involved in the crime.”

Chigweda has been said to be helping the police with their investigation. However, his legal counsel has said that he is/was not an employee of either TM Pick n Pay or Steward Bank.

This is an interesting case because it’s brought to light the faults in the financial systems. Banks on one hand might have to be more stringent when it comes to the authorisation of such transactions.

And on the other hand, TM employees had a hand to play in this. Triple confirming transactions like these is something that should, I think, be commonplace. It could be an easy way of making sure something like this doesn’t happen again even if it slows the process.

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2 thoughts on “TM Pick n Pay loses ZWL$22 million to scammers

  1. The world over, transactions are supposed to be verified and approved by the accounting officer. At least substantial amounts like these. The banks should have these security measures built-into online banking. An email is the worst form to use for origination or approval of banking activities.

    This is sad because Zimbabwe has been lagging behind in financial services which doesn’t require much investments, just learning from our SADC neighbours

  2. This is a in side job period. Cox the conduct numbers of the Finincial manager they hve did they phone b4 doing such big transactions? I don’t believe such transactions can be done without verification.

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