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MMCZ Inspector Caught Red-Handed with Diamonds Worth US$20K in Trousers Pocket

MMCZ Inspector Caught Red-Handed with Diamonds Worth US$20K in Trousers Pocket

The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) inspector, who was caught red-handed with a parcel containing diamonds worth more than US$20K in his right trousers pocket, has been arrested along with his five accomplices.

Suspects Remanded in Custody

Harare Provincial Magistrate Apollonia Marutya remanded the suspects, Silas Chirume (54), Edward Jacob Gunda (62), Maison Phiri (37), Steven Wahita (56), and Isaac Muripa (37), to June 14 on bail of US$150 each.

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Roles and Positions of the Accused

Silas Chirume, the alleged mastermind behind the theft, works as a diamond inspector at the MMCZ. Maison Phiri serves as a diamond evaluator at the MMCZ, while Edward Jacob Gunda holds the position of assistant security manager at Anjin Investments. Steven Wahita works as a security supervisor at Anjin Investments stationed at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport. Isaac Muripa is a detective constable attached to the same airport.

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The Incident and Investigation

On April 17, 2024, during a diamond packing exercise conducted by Anjin, which aimed to ship the diamonds to Erleen Gold Trading DMCC Dubai, several parties were present, including personnel from Anjin, MMCZ, CID Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit, and the customer’s representative, Paolo Persico.

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After the packing exercise, it was discovered that some diamonds were missing. This prompted MMCZ to report the matter to the police. Detectives from CID Minerals reviewed CCTV camera footage at Anjin’s offices, which revealed Chirume picking up a parcel of diamonds and placing it in his right trousers pocket.

Confessions and Recovery

Upon his arrest, Chirume confessed to selling the stolen diamonds to an individual named Boss Guzu for US$20K. He led the police to recover a silver Honda Fit, which he purchased for US$3,200 using his share of the proceeds. The other accused individuals were arrested separately.

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Phiri admitted to using part of his share to pay school fees for his children. Gunda lost US$2K of his share through a soccer bet and used US$1,700 to pay school fees. Unfortunately, out of the stolen diamonds valued at approximately US$31,010.53, only US$1,000 has been recovered thus far.