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e-Creator director granted bail after seven months in jail

HARARE — Trymore Tapfumaneyi, one of the directors implicated in the e-Creator Ponzi scheme, has been released on bail after spending seven months in remand prison.

The Harare regional magistrate, Donald Ndirowei, granted bail to Tapfumaneyi, setting the amount at US$1,000. His release comes following his arrest in September 2023 in connection with the alleged fraudulent scheme.

While Tapfumaneyi walks free, his alleged co-conspirators, Chinese national Zhao Jiaotong and fellow director Justin Kuchekenya, remain in custody, awaiting trial. The duo has expressed their intention to seek bail this Friday, citing changed circumstances.

The e-Creator case revolves around an online investment Ponzi scheme. Prosecutors contend that in January 2023, Zhao Jiaotong established the e-Creator scheme, enticing unsuspecting individuals with promises of high investment returns.

According to court documents, on February 7, 2023, Zhao, in collaboration with Tapfumaneyi, Kuchekenya, Billy Thomas Syedou, Abraham Mutambu, and other unidentified accomplices, registered a company named e-Creator Electronic Commerce (Private) Limited with the Zimbabwean Registrar of Companies. The company purportedly operated from rooms 15 and 16 on the 10th Floor of Joina City in Harare.

The prosecution alleges that Zhao subsequently launched e-Creator as an online e-commerce operator, enticing thousands of individuals to deposit their funds into the scheme. However, these investors later discovered that the promised returns were nothing more than empty assurances, leaving them empty-handed.