Ferret Team caught in bribery trap

File pic: Corruption

SIX members of security officers deployed at Beitbridge Border Post to fight cross-border crime were on Tuesday night caught red-handed by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission officers as they collected bribes from travellers.

Over R21 000 collected by the six-member Ferret team as bribe money was confiscated after the suspects fled their workstation in dramatic fashion.

The raid, which came just after 8pm, brought the Malume section of the border post to a standstill. The spot is usually used by cross-border transporters, commonly known as oMalayitsha, as their meeting point.

The suspects have been identified as Corporal Mpala Nhlanhla of the Zimbabwean National Army, Letwin Matema of the President’s Department, Warrant Officer 3 Lincon Matema of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, Sergeant Farai Munago of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Police Intelligence, Corporal Yolanda Samson of the Air Force of Zimbabwe Intelligence and Detective Sergeant Rejoice Magede of the ZRP.

The team’s ground commander Chief Superintendent Mandlenkosi Moyo from Gwanda Police District said he was outside Beitbridge and he would communicate once on the ground.

“I am driving into Beitbridge, I will call when I get on the ground,” he said.

A leaked internal police memo seen by NewsDay titled: Alleged Corrupt Activities by Ferret Team Members deployed at Beitbridge Border Post said: “On February 6, 2023 at around 2100hrs, members from Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) pounced on Ferret Team Members deployed at Malume Shed, Beitbridge Border Post and tried to effect an arrest on the Ferret members for alleged involvement in corrupt activities but failed as the Ferret Team members reportedly bomb-shelled.”

“Circumstances were that a team of about three members from Zacc headed by a detective officer identified as Eric Machacha in the company of Ngonidzashe Emmanuel and Brenda Muriro tried to effect arrest on Ferret members from all security pillars.

“However, at the point that the Ferret members were deployed, a search was conducted leading to the recovery of ZAR21 160, allegedly hidden in a table drawer. The Ferret Team members are yet to be apprehended and case is still under investigation. More details to follow,” the internal memo read.

It is understood Zacc officers spent the entire day monitoring activities and pretended to be seeking assistance to have their car cleared for a reward.

When they tried to spring into action, the suspects bolted, leaving their loot and several mobile phones some of which showed a WhatsApp group that had been formed to declare all money that would have been earned in the illegal activity.

Other Ferret officials reportedly park their cars outside the border at different points to demand cash from vehicles leaving the border post.


Related Topics