US$720k heist: Seven suspects await bail ruling

Yeukai Karengezeka Court Correspondent

Seven suspected robbers who allegedly raided a financial services company and fled with over US$720 676, R10 500, e120, a 7.65 mm CZ Vzor pistol and three laptops, were yesterday remanded in custody to Monday for bail ruling.

The accused were captured on CCTV camera committing the offence and to date only US$183 760 has been recovered.

Washington Mangwanda (21), Brighton Chikuwa (27), Silence Matambo (27), Liberty Mukangaise (31), Richard Marondera (25) , Luke Zinyengere (28) and Shadreck Tendai Mudanga (42) who is believed to be the mastermind of the heist, appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mr Donald Ndirowei charged with armed robbery.

Two other suspects, Phillip Rwodzi  (37) and Livingstone Tunha (53) have since been released.

Prosecutor Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti alleged that on February 25 at around 1:30am , the accused persons went to rob the complainant, Lancelot Tashayawedu.

They armed themselves with two pistols, electric drill, iron bar, bolt cutter and explosives and proceeded to Tashayawedu’s offices located at number 6 Rochester Road, Alexandra Park, Harare driving in four separate vehicles, a blue Honda Fit, silver Honda Fit, black Mercedes Benz and black Toyota Wish.

On arrival, they approached Tashayawedu in his bedroom after breaking the door to his living quarters.

They tied his hands and legs with an electric cable and proceeded to the main office building at the premises where they used an iron bar to smash the window pane of one of the office building to gain entry.

The suspects allegedly ransacked several offices at the building including the computer server room, the managing director’s office, the operations manager’s office and the board room.

They blasted strong room and the safes using some detonators and stole cash amounting to US$720 676, 2 small cash boxes, 3xHp Laptops, a small monarch bag, Wi-Fi router, ZAR 10 500, cash 120 Euros, PABX telephone machine and a 7.65 mm CZ Vzor pistol belonging to Peace Security Company which provides security during the day for the protection of cash, bullion and other valuables in transit.

It is alleged that the accused persons were disturbed by the arrival of a Safeguard Security Company reaction team who parked their vehicle at the front of the offices and they fled from the scene leaving a grinder, fuse cables and a bag with two laptops.

The accused persons also dropped cash amounting to US$5 000 as they escaped by breaking precast wall panels at the back of the building.

Investigations led to the arrest of the accused persons and subsequent recovery of varying amounts of cash from each accused person.

The first four accused persons were quickly identified by one of the detectives at CID Homicide Harare who had known then for more than 10 years.

Also recovered were motor vehicles which were bought by some of the accused persons using the stolen cash.

Mangwanda led police to the recovery of US$21 000 and a black Mercedes Benz which he used as a gateway motor vehicle.

Chikukwa led to the discovery of US$28 000 and some explosives they used to blow the safe.

Matambo led to the recovery of US$20 000 cash which was recovered at Murayi village, Headman Chanakira, Chief Marange, Bocha which he had given his mother for safekeeping.

Also recovered on him was US$1 000 which was part of his share of the proceeds of crime.

Mukangaise led to the recovery of cash amounting to US$20 560 which was part of his share of the proceeds of crime.

He also bought a car radio and subwoofer, set of seat covers, 4xsize 15 tyres, car shields and mag wheels using the proceeds of crime.

Also recovered were clothes which he was wearing during the commission of the offence as captured on CCTV footage.

He was identified on CCTV by one of the detectives at CID Homicide Harare who had known him for more than 10 years.

Marondera led police to the recovery of US$33 600  cash and a blank pistol which they used during the commission of the offence.

According to court papers, Zinyengere was found with US$17 620 cash and a recently purchased Toyota Mark X vehicle ,Iphone 15 Promax and an Iphone 14 Promax which were purchased using the proceeds of the crime.

There is evidence of communication amongst the accused persons as they were planning before and during the commission of the offence.

Call history records are available as evidence.

You Might Also Like

Comments

Take our Survey

We value your opinion! Take a moment to complete our survey