Man loses US$23 000 to bogus investigators

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Man loses US$23 000 to bogus investigators
Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyati

A GOLD miner lost US$20 000 after three suspects masquerading as Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) officials stormed his house in Gwabalanda suburb and demanded documents authorising him to conduct mining activities before they took away his money.

The suspects ordered the complainant to get into their car under the guise that they were taking him to Luveve Police Station for further investigations. They dumped him along the way and disappeared with his money.

The incident occurred on August 4 at around 2AM, but the complainant only reported the matter to the police over the weekend after he got suspicious when the suspects failed to contact him again.

The victim was asleep when the trio knocked on the door in the early morning hours. When he opened the door, they stormed into the house and demanded mining documents. The victim failed to produce them and the suspects searched his house and took a bag containing US$23 000 and a gold detector. They ordered him to get into their getaway car and later dumped him along the way.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident yesterday, saying investigations are underway.

“I can confirm that we have launched a manhunt for three suspects who posed as Zacc officials before they robbed a Bulawayo man of US$23 000. What is of concern to us as police is that the incident occurred on August 4, but the complainant only reported it a few days ago,” he said.

“The complainant was asleep at his house in Gwabalanda when he heard a knock on the door at around 2AM. Upon opening the door, the three suspects stormed into the house and demanded mining documents, which he failed to produce.”

Asst Comm Nyathi said the suspects searched the house and took a gold detector and a bag containing US$23 000 and left the house together with the complainant whom they later dumped along the way.

“Initially, the suspects took the complainant with him under the pretext of taking him to Luveve Police Station. They returned his gold detector before they later and dumped him along the way and drove away,” he said.

“It appears the suspects knew that the complainant was into mining and posed as Zacc officials. As police, we urge people who are into business to be extra careful. They must not release information regarding their businesses to strangers, especially in terms of how they run their business.”

The incident occurred at a time when police have intensified campaigns to educate members of the public against keeping huge amounts of money in their houses. Of late there has been an increase in the number of cases where unsuspecting victims have been losing money and other valuables to thieves who steal from houses and cars.

In June, a gold mine manager lost nearly US$50 000 to thieves who broke into his car minutes after he had sold gold to a dealer in Bulawayo.

West Nicholson-located Jessie Gold Mine manager only identified as Mr De Villiers (54) is alleged to have lost $46 830 to thieves who broke into his car while he had entered a shop in Belmont industrial site. chronicle

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