TWO greedy Harare police officers are currently detained at Harare Central Police Station after they were arrested for extorting a gold dealer who was in possession of fine gold worth US$22,000, making off with US$15 620 and leaving the complainant holding US$6 480.
The police officers are said to have demanded a bribe from Richard Dindani, 39, of Phiri Gold Mining Syndicate, Zvishavane after arresting him at Avondale Shopping Centre for alleged illegal possession of gold on August 17.
Police say Dindani offered US$5 000 bribe but the officers declined demanding a bigger share before ultimately taking US$15 620 and leaving complainant with US$6 480.
Feeling robbed, Dindani, reported Constable Masimba Kunyongana, 26, of ZRP Southerton Harare, Detective Constable Desmond Masvimbo, 26, CID Highlands, Harare and one other on extortion charges.
The other police officer is still at large.
On 20 August 2020, a team of detectives from CID Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit made a follow up leading to the arrest of the two accused persons in Sunningdale, Harare.
“Upon arrest accused number one, Kunyongana, was searched and found in possession of four thousand four hundred and eighty United States dollars in his jean trousers pocket,” police said in a memo.
“Accused number two, Masvimbo, was arrested whilst in possession of a HONDA FIT new shape registration number AFB 2310 which he bought on 18 August 2020 from the proceeds of the crime at Harare Car Importers and Sales at number 40667 Tongogara Avenue, Harare . The recovered vehicle was bought for US$3700-00 cash and the agreement of sale was also recovered.”
The duo is expected to appear in court on August 22 2020.
It is alleged that on August 17 2020, at around 1100 hours, the complainant arrived in Harare from Zvishavane where he does mining business under Mpofu and Phiri Gold mining syndicate.
He had two pieces of smelted fine gold weighing 931 grams, police said.
“The complainant proceeded to Avondale Shopping centre where he was approached by the two accused person and another one who is still at large and is also a serving member of the police,” reads the police memo.
“They arrested him for alleged illegal possession of gold. They took him to Harare Central Police Station where they entered the station yard and parked near the fuel tanks.”
“The accused persons threatened to detain the complainant unless they get some money from him.The accused persons demanded more money which the complainant did not have and they went on to demand one of the gold button.”
The complainant is said to have given the three police officers one piece of fine gold weighing 409 grams. In order to cover their track, the accused persons ordered the complainant to sell the gold in his name.
“On the same date at about 1900 hours, the complainant in the company of the accused persons, proceeded to a gold buyer in Borrowdale where he disposed of the gold. They realised twenty two thousand dollars United States dollars (USD22 000) which was all handed over to the accused persons,” added the police memo.
“On their way to Harare Central Business District, the complainant pleaded with the accused persons to give him part of the money and they gave him six thousand four hundred and eighty United States dollars (US$6 480-00) and they pocketed fifteen thousand six hundred and twenty United States dollars (US$15 620-00) and released the complainant.”
On 19 August 2020, the complainant reported the matter to the police.
The latest case of rogue police officers comes as some law enforcement have been putting up illegal roadblocks and conducting patrols countrywide to extract bribes from the public.
Zimbabwe Republic Police has since urged those who suspect they are victims to make reports to police hotlines.