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Cryptocurrency dealer Lloyd Chiyangwa denied bail after allegedly stealing $457,000 from eye specialist

A cryptocurrency dealer in Zimbabwe has been denied bail after being accused of stealing $457,000 worth of cryptocurrency from an eye specialist.

Lloyd Chiyangwa, who is charged with theft and money laundering, is alleged to have stolen the tokens from the complainant’s accounts between October 2021 and March 2022.

The complainant, who is an eye specialist, bought the cryptocurrencies in June 2020 while in India. He contacted Chiyangwa to set up bitcoin wallets to sell and exchange his bitcoins when he returned to Zimbabwe in 2021.

Chiyangwa set up five accounts for the complainant, including two cold storage accounts. During the set-up process, he had access to the passwords of all wallets.

The complainant only discovered that the tokens had been stolen in May 2022. Chiyangwa is alleged to have used part of the proceeds to acquire 2 iPhones, a laptop, a Mercedes Benz and other items.

Harare regional magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa denied Chiyangwa bail, saying there were high chances that he would continue to defraud more people if released. The state also opposed bail on grounds that the suspect had two passports and two South African bank accounts and was likely to escape to South Africa.

Chiyangwa is due to appear in court again on September 12.

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