Security guards jailed four years each for stealing cash from Quest Finance robbery scene

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By Staff Reporter

TWO security guards who were part of the response team after Quest Finance was robbed of US$780 000 have been jailed four years each for theft.

The two guards are Cornelius Muchikange and Nesbert Kachungwe both 35 and employed by J& P Security.

Kachungwe and his colleague picked a bag containing US$53 000 before going on a spending spree.

The two were convicted after their guilty plea when they appeared before Harare magistrate Esther Chichera on Monday.

Chichera initially sentenced the two to four years behind bars but later suspended for six months on the condition of good behavior.

She also suspended an additional 18 months of the sentence on the condition that the two pay back US$18 650 each leaving them to serve two effective years in prison.

Muchikange paid lobola to his in-laws and bought a car and a residential stand while his colleague bought building materials and a car using the loot.

While the two were enjoying the stolen proceeds, they were approached by suspected bogus cops who stole US$15 000 and US$7 000 respectively from the two.

The robbery took place on February 25 at around 1:30 am, 12 robbers who were armed with pistols and explosives among other things approached the head of operations at Quest Financial Services, Daniel Mandizvidza in his bedroom at the place of work after breaking the door of his bedroom.

They tied him up and ransacked several offices.

It is alleged the gang blasted a safe in the Operations Manager’s office and stole cash.

“The robbers used some detonators to blast a safe and stole cash all valued at US$744 000, 120 Euros, ZAR 10 500 which they loaded into a plastic bag and cardboard box.

“The robbers were disturbed by the arrival of both Safe Guard and J & P Security Service reaction teams,” reads court papers.

The court heard the two parked at the front of the premises.

During their escape, the robbers left a grinder, some fuse detonators, and a bag with two laptops, dropped cash amounting to US$5000 in the premises and escaped from the back of the premises.

Whilst outside the premises, one of the plastic bags the robbers were using to carry money was torn and all the cash dropped to the ground and the robbers proceeded without picking it up.

“The two accused patrolled near the perimeter wall and found the cash amounting to approximately US$53 000, took it and shared it amongst themselves.”

On March 8, detectives from CID Homicide Harare received information that the pair had stolen the cash which was dropped by robbers at the scene.

The police detectives managed to arrest the two in Harare CBD.

Upon interrogation, it was also established that on March  7, Muchikange was approached by six male adults purporting to be police officers who impersonated detectives from CID Homicide and they took the remainder of the money he had which amounted to US$15 000.

The same fake CID officers stole US$7000 from Kachungwe.

The total value stolen is US$ 53 000 and property value at US$15 700 was recovered.

Nine robbery suspects have so far been arrested in connection with this case.