Police officers in US$10 000 heist

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THREE police officers allegedly pounced on a gold trader and robbed him of US$10 000 worth of property during a stage-managed arrest.

Happymore Gwande, 35, who is stationed at Nyabira Police Station allegedly connived with Ronald Masendeke, 29, and Mupfugami Govai, 35, who are members of the Police Intelligence Unit before they roped in Tozivepi Chirara, 28, and Francis Takura, 32.

They were released on bail when they appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa except for Takura who will make his application on February 24.

Prosecutor Lancelot Mutsokoti alleged that on February 13, the complainant Benny Gudo, who is the owner of Zembere Pinda Mining Syndicate in Kachuta, Guruve contacted Hamilton Nyoka – who is still at large – and asked for his assistance to sell 92,5 grammes of gold.

Gudo and Nyoka had previously dealt together when the latter was employed by Masvingo Refiners.
The two agreed to meet at Jameson Hotel in Harare and when Gudo arrived, Nyoka was in the company of Chirara and Takura who were introduced as buyers.

Takura was driving a maroon Dodge Calibar and they drove to a flat along Josiah Chinamano Avenue which they claimed to be their office.

When they arrived, Takura instructed Gudo to walk towards a locked door before Gwande, Masendeke and Mupfugami appeared claiming to be detectives from the Minerals Unit.
They searched Gudo and took his gold saying he was an illegal dealer and also took US$2 700 and three smart phones from him.

Gudo was handcuffed to Takura while Nyoka and Chirara were left to go scot-free.
The detectives put Gudo and Takura in their car and drove towards Harare Central Police Station.
They allegedly dropped off Takura along the way after lying that he was going to look for bribe money to facilitate Gudo’s release.

The court heard that Gudo was dumped along Baines Avenue and he proceeded to file a police report at Harare Central on February 14.

On February 19, detectives from CID Homicide received information about Chirara’s whereabouts and they arrested him before he led to the apprehension of Takura, Gwande, Masendeke and Govai.
The total value of stolen property is US$10 000 and nothing was recovered.

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