Tuesday, 26 July 2022

US$70K THEFT : COPS HUNT FOR SEVEN MASHWEDE EMPLOYEES

Police yesterday said they are keen to interview at least seven Mashwede Holdings employees in Harare, some of them believed to be on the run, who are being implicated in a case in which over US$70 000 was recently stolen from their employer.

This development comes after their other four accomplices were arrested last week and have since appeared in court over the weekend facing theft charges involving over US$70 000.

They are Daisy Chakauya (35), Aseni Masenda (26), Brighton Moyo (age not given) and Samantha Guzuzu (32) who appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Yeukai Dzuda.

They were all released on $50 000 bail.

Sources close to the investigations said they are now keen to interview the other seven suspects who are employed as cashiers at Mashwede Holdings in High Glen area.

When their other accomplices were arrested, the seven are reported to have been off duty and efforts by the police to locate them at their respective houses were fruitless.

Police also believe that the suspects could have stolen more than the US$70 000 and they are now waiting for an audit report to ascertain the exact figure that was stolen.

However, it is alleged that on July 20, detectives received a tip off that the suspects had formed a criminal syndicate and were allegedly stealing from their employer, Mashwede Holdings.

The information was that after sales had been made, the suspects would write their daily sales and, instead of capturing all the transactions, they would steal part of the US dollars.

They would then inflate or credit the amount stolen to swipe transaction values.

Acting on the tip off, police managed to arrest Masenda, who implicated Chakauya, who then implicated the other suspects.

Upon arrest, Chakauya led the police to the recovery of US$11 460, 60 x 750ml bottles of Jameson Whisky, 84 x 750ml bottles of Jäegermeister which had been obtained by the stolen money.

Masenda also allegedly led police to the recovery of US$1 000 cash stolen from the employer and several second-hand clothes also purchased using the stolen money for resale.

It is further alleged that in order to cover up for the offence, Moyo who was the accountant, after receiving the falsified transactions, would then obtain his proceeds from either Chakauya who was the manager and Guzuzu who was a cashier.

Investigations revealed that this has been going on since December last year and so far over US$70 000 was stolen. Only US$14 000 was recovered.

This is not the first time Mashwede Holdings has either lost cash to employees or robbers.

Recently, Edson Mashamhanda and Enerst Nevanji Madanhire were tried and convicted for stealing fuel coupons worth US$17 000.

In January, a team of police forensic experts and fingerprint scientists were roped in to assist in investigating the case in which four robbers had raided a Mashwede Holdings food court and two other premises in Southlea Park, Harare.

Police yesterday said they are still hunting the gang of four armed robbers who got away with a vehicle, a Mitsubishi double cab and more than US$5 000.

In 2020, armed robbers raided Mashwede Holdings and got away with over US$100 000, R42 000, $14 000 worth of fuel coupons, firearms and 20 live rounds of ammunition.

The heist allegedly involved five Mashwede Holdings workers and nine robbers.

‘‘Among the five workers were two brothers related to the business owner, while two were security guards.

The five workers, Musafare Mupamhanga and Conwell Kasambarare (26), were then arrested and appeared in court where their case is still pending.

Spicer Takawira and Mupamhanga, who were wanted for committing a spate of armed robberies, housebreakings and thefts around the city, were last year arrested following a shoot out with police in Glen View 7, Harare.

 In February last year, police launched a manhunt for Kasambarare after he skipped bail as he faced charges of being part of a gang committing a spate of armed robberies countrywide.

 He was re-arrested but managed to get bail again and is still on the run. Herald

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