Former Miss Mutare Derleen Soma and a CIO operative Walter Mupira teamed up with Zimbabwe Republic Police officers to extort and rob foreign diamond buyers in the city of their money.
The eight, who appeared at Mutare Magistrates’ Court recently, went on an extortion and robbing spree, mainly targeting foreign diamond buyers.
The police officers who were arrested are Munyaradzi Muza, Ernest Kariwo, Gift Msipa and Tichawona Joseph. The operation was led by a well-known diamond dealer, Trymore Gata and his friends Booker Chinamasa, Trevor Magirazi, Simo Korera and Blessing Tauro.
Police are hunting for the other three police officers who are now on the run. The three are Mike Masenda, Terrence Mashaire and Dumisani Ndlovu.
It is alleged Gata, together with his co-accused, on eight different occasions robbed or extorted money from 16 complainants from June this year.
In the first case Soma, Gata, Chinamasa, Magirazi and Ndlovu went to a foreign buyer’s house pretending they were selling diamonds and when they were turned down they threatened the foreigner with arrest for dealing in diamonds.
The buyer gave them $ 1 000 which they shared among themselves.
In the other cases the accused persons would identify themselves as police officers and threaten buyers with arrest if they did not pay them money.
In another case Mupira, Masenda, Mashaire, Gata and Ndlovu approached a complainant with pieces of diamonds but the buyer refused to take the diamonds, they produced four pistols and handcuffed the buyer. They then took away $3 000 from him and shared it among themselves.