Nine Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) employees in Bulawayo have been arrested for allegedly stealing $80 000 meant to buy gold in Zvishavane.
The cash was reportedly stolen between Tuesday and Wednesday last week.
Fidelity Printers, an RBZ subsidiary, requested the central bank to replenish cash supplies at its gold buying centres in Gwanda, Filabusi and Zvishavane.
It is believed that the suspects hatched a plan to steal the money meant for Zvishavane.
Gwanda was given $100 000, Filabusi $40 000 while Zvishavane was allocated $80 000.
The suspects, Sonnyboy Moyo (36) of Bernavista, a bullion supervisor, Rodwell Tamba (28) of Waterford, a bullion cash custodian, and Tazzen Munhumumwe (21) of Sizinda, a quality control clerk, were arraigned before Bulawayo magistrate Sibongile Msipa at Tredgold Magistrates’ Court on Monday, after being in police custody since Friday.
Their alleged accomplices, John Mahlekete (48) of Nketa 7, Tavanda Masara (35) of Emganwini, Bornwell Sibanda (46) of New Lobengula, Sheturo Katoma (26) of Nkulumane, Methuseli Sibanda (33) of Pumula South and Anele Ntuliki (age not given) of Kamdene Flats also appeared before the same court.
After receiving the money Moyo, Tamba and Munhumumwe packed it into cash boxes, sealed and secured them with padlocks.
They handed them over to the security department at the bank for safekeeping. After delivering the money to Gwanda and Filabusi, on their way to Zvishavane, the escort vehicle accompanying the cash-in-transit car developed a mechanical fault and the cash box was returned to Bulawayo where it was handed over to Moyo, Tamba and Munhumumwe, who secured it.
The state alleges that while the cash box was kept for safekeeping and awaiting delivery on 28 July, the nine men broke the padlock to the cash box and stole the $80 000 inside.
Allegations are that they then bought a similar padlock and secured the box.
However, the alleged offence came to light when the cash box was delivered to Zvishavane last Wednesday.
The padlock was broken and it contained only $566. A report was made to the police and the nine were arrested last Friday.
Jeremiah Mutsindikwa prosecuted and the nine will remain in custody until their bail ruling tomorrow.