By Mary Taruvinga
FIVE police officers were Thursday hauled to court on allegations of under declaring money seized from illegal foreign currency dealers.
The police officers, who are all stationed at Criminal Investigations Department’s Theft from Car (TFC) section allegedly pocketed more than US$14 000 after they raided US$200 000 from the traders including
Tafadzwa Chidawa, Edward Selemani , Sydine Mugambiwa, Tendai Mangena and Richard Majome.
Media reports claim the son of a top ally of President Mnangagwa’s was involved but police were forced to release him late Wednesday.
However, this was not mentioned in court papers.
The five appeared before Harare magistrate Babra Mateko who released them on RTGS$100 bail each.
Prosecutor Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that on May 28 at around 2pm, Darlington Ndava Chiwara who owns Structured Finance and Commodity went to “some flats located at corner Five Avenue and Fifth Street to meet a friend who had offered him an exchange rate in RTGS transfer for US$200 000.”
The court heard Chiwara was in the company of Henry Abraham and Wisdom Hodzi and together they started counting the money.
It is alleged that as Chiwara and his colleagues finished counting the money which amounted to US$200 000, the five police officers allegedly arrived and informed the trio that they were under arrest for illegally dealing in foreign currency.
It is alleged that Chiwara was taken to Harare Central Police Station in a BMW 5 series belonging to Chidawa whilst his colleague, Abraham, was put in a police car and taken to the same station.
While on the way, the court heard that Chidawa and his accomplices informed Chiwara that his money would be seized by the State.
Upon arrival at the police station, it is alleged that the accused suggested that the complainant leave part of the recovered cash in Chidawa’s car and he agreed.
The court heard that Chiwara removed US$158 400, which they left secured in Chidawa’s car.
It is the State’s case that the police officers took the bag containing US$41 600 to the CID TFC office.
The court heard that whilst at CID TFC offices, the police officers counted the US$41 600 which was to be recorded and seized.
They allegedly demanded a US$2 000 bribe from Chiwara which the five shared amongst themselves before conniving to remove another US$20 590. The court heard that they proceeded to book US$21 010 as exhibit.
It is alleged that Chidawa later handed back the money left in the boot to Abraham, who gave him an additional US$1 000 bribe as a token for hiding the cash.
When Abraham counted the money, he discovered that US$11 000 was missing bringing the total the five had pocketed to US$14 000.