New twist in US$2.5 million Heist – Police Unravel ‘staged’ robbery

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Keith T Mambo
Keith T Mambo
Keith T. Mambo is currently a reporter for ZiMetro News . He focuses on identity politics for The Southern Eye. He was previously a fellow at the UCT University of Cape Town for Political Science.

Eight more suspects in a US$2.5 million money heist were on Wednesday brought to court movie style.

Police used high security vehicles in the motorcade to bring the suspects to court.

Of the eight, five appeared in court and were placed on remand, while others are assisting police with investigations.

The five who were placed on remand were Gerald Rutizirira, 35, Kelvin Musakwa, 25, Tendai Zuze, 35, Neverson Mwamuka, 35 and Trymore Chapfika, 36 and they were not asked to plead when they appeared before Harare magistrate Judith Taruvinga, who referred them to the High Court for bail.

The court heard that on January 6, the five, together with Fanuel Masakwa and Shadreck Njowa, who are ZB Bank employees, planned to rob the bank of cash that was in transit to be distributed to its branches across the country.

It is alleged they conspired with several others who are still at large and armed themselves with guns, arranged three getaway vehicles and planned for three to be picked up as passengers while being accomplices to the heist.

Masakwa was in the ZB Bank cash in transit vehicle, a white Toyota Hilux with a canopy and would frequently contact his accomplices on their way from Harare to Chinhoyi and along the way they deposited $43 090 at Inkomo Tollgate with the bank and as they drove towards Chinhoyi, the driver picked up three ‘passengers’ on Masakwa’s instruction.

It is reported that when they reached the 60km peg, one of the passengers, pretended as if he had reached his destination and the driver stopped the car to let him disembark.

That is when the passenger produced a gun threatening to shoot the crew. Other accomplices arrived immediately driving a red twin cab belonging to Rutizirira, a Toyota Passo and a Toyota Lexus, armed with unidentified pistols, fired two shots into the air then bundled the crew members before speeding away with seven boxes of the money, leaving them at the scene.

The State alleges that Rutizirira led to the discovery of US$96 100, which remained of his share as well as a Toyota Hilux he bought soon after the offence and he also led the police to recover the red getaway car he had painted white.

Musakwa reportedly led to the recovery of US$48 000 which he obtained as Musakwa’s proceeds of the crime, while Zuze led to the discovery of US$35 082, which he remained with from his loot after buying a Toyota Baby Quantum.

Mwamuka led to the recovery of US$74 884, which he remained with from his share and a Honda Fit he had bought with some of his money and the Lexus used in the robbery, while Chapfika led to the recovery of US$38 900.

Linda Gadzikwa appeared for the State.

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