BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Five Zimbabwe Republic Police officers have been arrested on charges of robbing a money changer of US$11 000 despite receiving a US$3 000 bribe to release US$200 000 they had confiscated.
The five Tafadzwa Chidawa (31), Edward Selemani (33), Sydnie Mugambiwa (32), Tendai Mangena (37) and Richard Majome (34) appeared before Harare magistrate Barbara Mateko, who remanded them to June 19 on $100 bail.
It is the State’s case that on May 28 this year, Darlington Chiwara, who operates his business as Finance and Commodity Trading went to some flats located at Corner Five Avenue and
Fifth Street in Harare to meet a friend who had offered him an exchange rate in Real Time Gross Settlement transfer for the US$200 000 which he had.
The State alleges Chiwara was in the company of Henry Abraham and Wisdom Hodzi when they were counting the money. It is alleged that as Chiwara and his colleagues finished counting the money, the accused persons arrived and informed the complainants that they were under arrest for dealing in foreign currency and they were to be taken to Harare Central Police Station
in a BMW 5, which belongs to Chidawa, while his colleague Abraham was put into the police vehicle.
While on the way to Harare Central Police Station, the accused persons kept emphasising to Chiwara that his money would be seized. The accused persons then instructed Chiwara at the police station to remove the money from the bag which he was to leave in the car and put it in the boot through an opening from the back seat.
It is said Chiwara then removed bundles of US$100, 50, 20 and 10 denominations amounting to US$158 400. The accused persons and Chiwara then went out of Chidawa’s vehicle with the bag containing $41 600 and took it to CID TFC office. They left US$158 400 secured in the locked motor vehicle.
It is further averred that while at CID TFC office, the accused persons counted the cash and it summed up to US$41 600 and proceeded to record and seize it.
The State alleges that the accused persons further agreed to remove US$20 590 and leave US$21 010 which was to be booked as exhibit after they demanded US$2 000 bribe which they took and shared among themselves.
The remaining US$21 010 was later taken as exhibit. Chidawa later gave Abraham the cash which was kept in the motor vehicle and Abraham again took out US$1 000 which he gave to the accused persons as a bribe for hiding the cash.
It is further said Abraham took the cash and he counted and discovered that it was amounting to US$146 400 and upon investigating, he discovered US$11 000 was missing.
The accused persons were then arrested.