FIVE more suspects were arrested in Beitbridge in connection with the $270 170 heist that occurred in Gwanda on Wednesday last week amid revelations the syndicate comprised 12 members.
Police in Gwanda arrested three detectives Sikhumbuzo Mathe (44), Walter Denhere (41) and Ishmael Phiri (37) in connection with the case. The three cops have already appeared in court and were remanded out of custody to Monday next week.
The complainant, Mushima Madzikita, yesterday confirmed the arrest of five more suspects in Beitbridge saying police were still trying to track other members of the syndicate.
The five are set to appear in the Gwanda Magistrates’ Court today.
Madzikita confirmed police had recovered some money from the suspects, but could not ascertain the figure.
The defence indicated in its bail application last Saturday that the State’s case against the three cops was “pathetic and weak” as there was nothing linking Denhere and Phiri to the alleged offence. The lawyers notified the court of their intention to challenge the placement of the two on remand.
The State alleged that on February 19 at around 10am, Madzikita together with his driver arrived in Gwanda and stopped at a garage to meet his mother, Sonile Madzikita, when the three detectives allegedly pounced on them.
The State said Mathe informed them that they were acting on a tip-off that they were gold dealers and wanted to search their vehicle at the police station.
When they got to the police station, Madzikita locked the car and they proceeded to the Criminal Investigations Department offices where they were questioned.
After about 30 minutes, they went back to the car with the detectives and found that the car’s doors had been opened using scissors.
Madzikita alleged that Mathe advised them to be careful as it seemed as if he was being followed and then asked him to leave “something” for them and he gave the cops $60 and left.
When he got back into town, he could not locate his mother until he found her at around 2pm in a Manama-bound kombi.
She refused to alight saying she was afraid of being killed. She narrated to him how Mathe and five other men had lured her into their car saying they had been sent by him to collect her.
The men demanded the bag containing the cash before dumping her in town. The matter was reported to the police, leading to the arrest of the three.
Madzikita’s mother identified Mathe as being among the six people who had taken the money from her. However, she failed to identify Denhere and Phiri.