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Criminal syndicate involving cops, army officers, CIO agents and civilians nabbed

A criminal syndicate comprising of members of the security services has been arrested following a spate of robberies around the country’s highways.

The gang of 11 which consisted of members of the Police, Army and Intelligence as well as civilians was nabbed following a series of heists targeting trucks with cargo.

An internal police memorandum identified  Loveridge Tonderai Dzimwasha (41) a Constable stationed at ZRP Stodart, Mbare in Harare, Panganai Munemo (31),ex ZRP from Chinhoyi, Zivanai Mangwanda (39) ex Airforce from Uzumba, Disire Tsaurai (35) ex-CIO from Ruwa as part of the syndicate.

Civilians include Anesu Gawaza (49) from Chitungwiza, Nicholas Murasira (33) of Harare, Tafirenyika Mariga (48) from Chitungwiza, Gerelsever Fadzai Katema (40) from Harare, Tapiwa Mafadze (48) from Harare, Stephen Chikota (37) from Chitungwiza and Shadreck Matenga (52) also from Harare.

The arrest followed their last heist whose action plan started on 10 December ast year.

It is alleged that Katema contacted complainant Chigidi Chigidi (32) of Kadangwe Investments, Kwekwe whom he gave a parcel.

He further instructed him to meet Murasira at Chibhero turn off in Norton after they had exchanged contact details.

At around midnight on the following day Chigidi and his workmate Emmanuel Marume were ferrying various groceries worth US$30 000-00 on their way to Kwekwe.

As instructed, they met Murasira at Chibhero turn off as agreed. He was in a white Toyota Baby Quantum registration number AFD 7505 and was in the company of Dzimwasha, Munemo, Mangwanda and Kupara

As soon as he handed over the parcel, Dzimwasha and Munemo jumped into the truck before producing ZRP identity cards.

They told Chigidi that he was under arrest for possessing dangerous drugs before handcuffing him and bundling him into their vehicle together with his workmate.

The gang allegedly forced them to lie on the floor together and drove off the scene leaving the truck under the custody of Mariga, Katema, Mafadze, Chikota and a driver only known as Stallone who is at large.

Chigidi and his workmate were later dumped from the vehicle only to realise that they were now in Goromonzi after being dispossessed of US$2 570-00 and their cellphones.

They then made a report at ZRP Goromonzi that morning.

The arrest of the gang was initiated last Friday after CID Southerton received information about Mangwanda’s whereabouts in Harare following a tip off.

Mangwanda was arrested along Robert Mugabe road in Eastlea opposite the VID premises.

Detectives interviewed Mangwanda who named Dzimwasha, Munemo and Tsaurai.

Their apprehension led to a series of arrests after revealing some of their robberies.

*Other Heists*
On January 25, last year, the gang robbed a lorry loaded with 30 tonnes of rice in Beatrice along the Harare-Masvingo highway.

In March and in Mashonaland Central the gang hijacked a truck with 30 tonnes of cooking oil in Shamva. This was in March destined for Bindura.

On 31 July 2022, they raided another truck loaded with 350 boxes of eggs destined for Mutare.

On 22 September they robbed a truck in Norton with merchandise destined for Bulawayo.

On September 30, they robbed a truck loaded with sugar from Chiredzi on its way to Beatrice along Harare – Masvingo road.

On 26 October they robbed a truck loaded with 30 tonnes of Zim Gold cooking oil destined for Chivhu.

The accused first appeared in court on 7 January 2023 and were to appear in court yesterday for initial remand. Nhau/Indaba

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