LUPANE — Police in Lupane have arrested an alleged fugitive former policeman wanted in connection with six counts of fraud, thanks to a recent NewsDay report which blew his cover.
Sergeant Tobias Kuvarega, who had reportedly been on the run since 2010, was arrested last week after a whistleblower led police to United College of Education where Kuvarega had secretly enrolled as a trainee teacher.
Apparently, the whistleblower had read a NewsDay story where a local businessman, Brian Foster, had been acquitted on a charge of insulting President Robert Mugabe after the State’s key witness, Kuvarega, was said to be on the run.
The whistleblower, who had spotted Kuvarega at the college, tipped off the police, leading to the fugitive’s arrest on April 3.
Kuvarega had deserted the police force as investigations into fraud allegations against him involving use of a fake fines receipt book were opened in 2010. On Thursday, he was remanded in custody to today pending a hearing into his bail application.
Kuvarega was not asked to plead to fraud charges involving $120 when he appeared before Lupane resident magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba.
The court heard that Kuvarega was attached at Lupane Police Station’s traffic section during the time he allegedly committed the fraud.
It is alleged that he had two receipt books meant for recording deposit fines paid by traffic offenders.
Kuvarega would allegedly fine road traffic offenders $20, but enter $10 on his secret receipt book and another $10 on the official police receipt book.
The court heard that the matter came to light after one of the motorists who Kuvarega had arrested and fined was re-arrested by other policemen. He told the police that he had already been fined by Kuvarega and he produced his two receipts.
An internal police audit unearthed the alleged scam, leading to the recovery of the fake receipt book.
Sanders Sibanda prosecuted.