Cops bust fake driver’s licences syndicate

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Police have bust a fake driver’s licence syndicate in Harare in which hundreds of unsuspecting prospective drivers could have been fleeced of substantial amounts of their hard-earned cash.

The alleged syndicate — involving five people including two soldiers — was smashed following a tip-off.

However, the two soldiers implicated have since been released, but are assisting police with investigations.

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) spokesperson Inspector Augustine Zimbili confirmed the arrest, but would not identify the soldiers.

“I can confirm that our CID cops arrested five men in connection with dealings in fake driver’s licences, which they made using a stencil cut from a metal identity card,” Zimbili said.

Two of the suspects arrested were named as Keithmoro Magodha (34) and Evans Mangwanya, whose age was not given.

Zimbili would, however, not name the other three suspects, saying they acted as middlemen to find clients for the fake driver’s licences.

“The arrested suspects allegedly used a metal identity cards to produce fake driver’s licences,” he said.

“Police are investigating a case of fake driver’s licences involving five suspects who are being held in police custody on allegations of trading in fake driver’s licences and I warn members of the public against underhand dealings in trying to procure driver’s licences as they may fall prey to fraudsters. They must go to driving schools.”

One of the victims, Trynos Chiwawa, said he paid $300 to obtain a fake driver’s licence, which he claimed looked genuine.

“I lost $300 after paying the money to a soldier only identified as Kahunye, operating at Defence House in the city, to obtain a driver’s licence which I was made to believe was genuine as the soldier who sold it to me claimed it had been made using original machinery,” Chiwawa said.

But Zimbili said the two soldiers, who had been picked up by police, merely acted as middlemen and had since been released from police custody.

He said another victim told the police he lost $200 in another botched deal and their investigations were continuing.