A DARING nine-member gang of police impersonators last week intercepted a Beitbridge-bound truck carrying 581 boxes of cigarettes, handcuffed the crew, and stole the consignment.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident which occurred on Tuesday, adding that six of the suspects have since been arrested.
The arrested suspects were identified as Trymore Chimbambo (39), Maxwell Kudziwe (28), Joe Partson (50), Takudzwa Brian Pawandiwa (33), Samuel Mushambiri (34) and Tatenda Gorombe (49). Their three alleged accomplices identified as Gift Kajawo , Norest Dipi alias Kabhuru and Tawanda.
The cigarettes were stolen at Gutu turn-off along Masvingo-Harare Road after the suspects, who were travelling in a Toyota Hilux twin cab, had intercepted an Isuzu rigid truck, which was carrying the cigarettes from Harare to Beitbridge.
“The suspects had posed as detectives, before handcuffing two occupants in the truck and forcing the driver to drive the truck to Gutu turn-off. On 23 November 2023, detectives arrested Trymore Chimbambo and Maxwell Kudzibwe at Highglen Shopping Centre, Harare after receiving information that linked Trymore Chimbambo to the robbery case. The suspects implicated Joe Partson, Takudzwa Brian Pawandiwa, Samuel Mushambiri and Tatenda Gorombe, leading to their arrests.”
Nyathi added that the arrest led to the recovery of 430 boxes of cigarettes at a house along Stay Field, Waterfalls, Harare, and a company at Tilco Industries, Chitungwiza.
“Detectives also recovered the suspects' get-away vehicle, a Toyota Hilux and a Mercedes Benz rigid truck which was used to transport the stolen consignment from Masvingo to Harare,” he added while appealing for leads that may assist the police in arresting three more accomplices.
- Veld fires ravage Beitbridge
- Harare suspends Pomona deal
- 340km of Harare-B/bridge highway revamp complete
- Arms of war
“The police are appealing for information which may lead to the arrest of the outstanding suspects identified as Gift Kajawo of Hopley Zone 2, Harare, Norest Dipi alias Kabhuru and Tawanda.”