Couple loses money and goods to bogus shipping agent

HARARE - The UK police are investigating a Zimbabwean freight company whose owner disappeared after receiving 4000 pounds as fees for delivering a consignment of goods worth 15 000 pounds for a Zimbabwean couple relocating home.

The couple told The Zimbabwean that they were telling their story as a warning to other people who might be thinking of returning home not to use the shipping agent, based in the UK. The agent is called GT Shipping but also known by other names.

The couple delivered their goods to the agent last October hoping to get them before Christmas but eight months later, the goods had not yet arrived.

They said the owner of the freight agent, Godfrey Kanengoni, was also believed to be using other names.

“He came to collect our belongings, which included my husbands Observations (of great scientific value) and all my recordings of past concerts in Zimbabwe, bringing two other helpers who packed them into his white truck where he said he would take them to Leeds, put them in storage for a while before obtaining a 20 foot container. For this service we paid him the sum of 4 000 (four thousand pounds).The value of the contents we estimate to be 15 000,”said the couple in a letter to The Zimbabwean.

“We arrived back in October 2009 knowing Godfrey promised to deliver our things to Zimbabwe before December 2009 so we happily anticipated a lovely Christmas of giving all the things we had bought to hand to our staff, and I anticipated selling the lovely designer dresses I had bought in the hopes of buying a new car.”

“It is now 9th May and we have still not had our goods sent to us. We have since discovered that Godfrey has several names: Godfrey Mugadza, Godie Khan, and it is quite possible he is also using Richard Semba or Bobnus Zonda who owns Everyday Freight. He says he has the goods but that there were problems in sending them to us. All these names are connected.”

The couple said they had picked on the agent because they had dealt with it before.

“Godfrey Kanengoni had delivered some packages for us to Zimbabwe before and we felt he was trustworthy. He has a company called GT Shipping and we had seen his flyer at the Zimfest in 2007.”

“We have traced the number of the container given to us as belonging to a now defunct shipping company in Liverpool. “Every time we try to contact Godfrey or Bob, they are either not on the phone or they do not respond to emails. When they do, there are vague promises that the goods are coming once they have raised the extra money due to unforeseen expenses and rising costs, which we were asked to pay.”

The couple said they had been asked to pay a further 2000 pounds. “This has been very distressing to us and we just hope other Zimbabweans returning from the UK will not be caught out as we were.

We would therefore be grateful if you could publish this story to protect others from falling into this trap. Police investigations in the UK are being conducted.\

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