CIO operative arrested for facilitating gold smuggling

By Desmond Chingarande

A Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative based at the Robert Mugabe International Airport, Chamakandiona Nyahunde also known as Vincent Moyo, has been arrested and charged with assisting Tashinga Masinire in smuggling gold worth US$782 000 to South Africa.

Masinire was arrested in South Africa while attempting to smuggle 23 pieces of gold and was released on 100 000 Rand.

The suspect Chamakandiona Nyahunda alias Vincent Moyo (36), employed by the CIO at the Robert Mugabe International Airport appeared before Magistrate Dennis Mangosi.

He is being charged together with Masiire who is already on remand in South Africa.

According to the State, on May 8 this year, the accused person was on duty at R.G.M airport, attached to the Aviation Ground Services and his duty was to inspect and clear goods.

The Hawks seized the gold pieces for further investigation after airport arrest
Cash found on the gold smuggling suspect by South African authorities

It is alleged that on the day in question the accused entered the departure terminal wearing a jacket and a trousers whose pockets were visibly laden with heavy objects.

Instead of going through the authorized entry route, he avoided the scans and metal detectors fixed at strategic points and proceeded through the arrival terminal which is rarely used when getting into the airport.

It is further said that on the same date, his accomplice, Tashinga Nyasha Masinhire, arrived at the airport driving a Ford Ranger vehicle. Masinire dropped out of the car, and an unidentified person took charge and drove off.

Masinhire who was carrying only a light bag went through the clearance procedures and there was nothing suspicious on him. He later proceeded to duty free airport waiting to board a South African airplane.

It is alleged that Masinire went into the smoking room at the waiting area carrying the light bag and Nyahunda joined him carrying a black satchel that appeared heavy.

The State alleges that after about 2 hours, the accused person got out of the smoking room with his bag, which appeared lighter. Concurrently, Masinire got out with his bag which now appeared heavier than before, using both hands to lift it.

Masinhire was later arrested at O.R Tambo airport in South Africa on the same date by the South African Police in possession of 23 pieces of gold without export permit prompting investigations to be effected at R.G Mugabe airport leading to the arrest of Nyahunda.

The smuggled gold is valued at ZWL 65 77 000.00 and nothing has been recovered so far.

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