Four police officers who raided illegal foreign currency dealers in the capital before stealing USD$11 000 from the loot they had stashed aside to get payment later have been dragged to court on charges of criminal abuse of office.
The four detectives from the Criminal Investigations Department, (CID) Tafadzwa Chidawa,(31) Tendai Mangena (37), Edward Selemani (33)and Sydney Mugomba (32) had set aside USD $ 158 400 as per agreement with the ‘kingpin’ of the forex cartel identified as Henry Abraham, surrendering a meager USD $ 21 010 which was to be booked as exhibit.
Of the loot they had set aside however, a staggering USD$11 000 was found missing prompting the report to be made.
The quartet appeared before Harare magistrate Barbra Mateko and they were released on $100 bail.
The State led by Sebastian Mutizirwa alleges that on May 28 the complainant Darlington Ndaba who operates his business Structured Finance and Commodity Trading located in Harare , went to the Avenues area to meet Abraham who had offered him an exchange rate in RTGS transfer for the USD $200 000.00 which he had.
It is alleged that the two started counting the money when the four police officers pounced on them.
The officers notified Ndaba and Abraham that they were under arrest for illegal dealing in foreign currency and they were taken to ZRP Harare Central station in a BMW 5 series belonging to Chidawa.
On the way to Harare Central police station, the gang told Ndaba that his money would be seized and they emphasized a lot on this aspect suggesting that upon arrival at ZRP Harare Central yard Ndaba would leave part of the recovered cash in the car so it would not be surrendered and seized.
Ndaba was instructed to remove the money from the bag, which he was to leave in the car and put in the trunk through an opening in the back seat. He then removed bundles of USD $ 100, USD$ 50, USD$ 20 and USD$ 10 notes all summing up to USD 158 400.00, the court heard.
The quartet and Chiwara went out of the car with a bag containing USD$ 41 600.00 and took it to CID TFC office.
They counted the money they had brought to the office, which was to be recorded and seized.
They further agreed to remove another USD $ 20 590.00 leaving USD $ 21 010 which was to be booked as exhibit after they said they wanted USD 21 000 as bribe which they took and shared amongst themselves
Chidawa later gave Abraham the cash which was kept in the motor vehicle who in turn gave him USD $ 1000 as a bribe for hiding the cash. After counting the money it was discovered that there was a shortfall of USD$ 11 000 and only USD $ 146 000 was remaining.