Zimbabwean man in £70 000 gold scam in the UK

Thabisa Moyo, aged 39, of Mossfield Close, was allegedly a member of a gang which duped Patricia Ayonye after staging a fake valuation for two worthless lumps of metal.

Ms Ayonye was first called to a meeting at the Hilton Hotel at London Bridge, to discuss a customer contract for her African restaurant in Peckham, south east London, it is claimed.

It is alleged the fraudsters promised to cover the food bill for a group of travelling medical students for three months, using the proceeds of a £70,000 sale of gold to a jeweller.

As part of the deal, she agreed to pay a £5,000 deposit to keep the precious metal while the terms were finalised, it is said.

Ms Ayonye claims she later got her own valuation and realised she had been tricked.

Moyo, an asylum seeker from Zimbabwe, was later arrested after the alleged victim said she spotted him in the street.

He denies fraud between June 23 and 25 this year. Judge Nicholas Philpot granted him bail ahead of his trial, which was fixed for March 29. Bury Times (UK)