Leicester men jailed over 'dyed money scam' death

Image source, Leicestershire Police
Image caption,
Promise Ndlovu was found dead in a car park in Leicester on 29 October 2016

Three men have been jailed for their part in the death of a man in a money scam that went wrong.

Promise Ndlovu was kidnapped and found dead in a Leicester car park in 2016.

Kuldeep Singh, 37, of Charter Street, Leicester, and Kehar Hayer, 57, of Spencefield Lane, Leicester, were each jailed for 13 years for manslaughter.

Ramandeep Dhaliwal, 35, also of Spencefield Lane, was jailed for eight years and six months for helping hold Mr Ndlovu against his will.

He was found guilty of conspiracy to falsely imprison and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, at Leicester Crown Court.

Image source, Leicestershire Police
Image caption,
Kehar Hayer, left, and Kuldeep Singh were "equally culpable" over the death of Promise Ndlovu, the court heard

The court heard Mr Ndlovu had visited Leicester's Kapital building in Charter Street at about 13:30 GMT on 28 October with a group of Zimbabwean men who were involved in a financial negotiation with the defendants.

The African men had brought with them a bag full of black paper, powder and a chemical, which the court heard was to be used in a so-called "black money scam".

The scam is used by fraudsters hoping to trick victims out of money by persuading them that piles of banknote-sized papers are actually genuine banknotes which have been dyed to avoid detection by authorities.

Often, the victim is persuaded to pay fees and buy special chemicals to remove the dye (and reveal the cash), with the promise of a share in the proceeds.

Image source, Leicestershire Police
Image caption,
Ramandeep Dhaliwal went to London while Promise Ndlovu was held as a security in Leicester

To ensure the deal went through, Mr Ndlovu remained with Hayer and Singh as a "deposit", the court heard, initially on a voluntary basis.

In return, Dhaliwal went to London with the other Zimbabweans.

When Dhaliwal called Hayer and Singh after he realised the deal was fraudulent, Mr Ndlovu was held against his will in Dhaliwal's office in the Kapital.

The victim managed to make a 999 call at about 00:15 on 29 October and was heard screaming on CCTV footage from the building.

Chanjit Jutla, defending Hayer, said: "There was no intention from the outset for any of this to happen, but plainly things began to spiral out of control."

A post-mortem examination found Mr Ndlovu died from "mechanical asphyxiation".

The judge, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker, said he was "satisfied" Hayer and Singh had not told the truth and were "equally culpable" over the death.

Image caption,
Police sealed off the area in Charter Street while they looked for clues

They dumped Mr Ndlovu's body in a nearby car park, where it was discovered by a man on his way to work the next morning.

Hayer and Singh were also found guilty of conspiracy to falsely imprison and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Ndlovu's wife Christina said: "Now our lives are dark where once they were filled with the light of Promise's smile and unconditional love."

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