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Zimbabwe: Cops in Court for Stealing U.S.$30,000

TWO police officers have landed in the dock for allegedly stealing $31,000 from a Zambian national who was booked at a Harare local hotel after accusing him of money laundering.

Assistant Inspector Hanya, 31, and Constable Walter Ziuch,26, who are stationed at minerals and border control unit, were denied bail by magistrate Lazini Ncube on Saturday.

They are charged with criminal abuse of office and will be back in court on 27 April.

Magistrate Ncube refused them bail, ruling that they were likely to interfere with evidence since their accomplice Clever Gadzikwa is on the run.

The investigating officer in the case told court that he had some leads to some of the stolen money and feared the duo were likely to erase evidence if released on bail.

The officers are currently on suspension from duty, pending finalisation of investigations.

It is state's case that the two-forced entry into Voster Hampako room at N1 Hotel on April 2.

They had initially requested to see the complainant in his room but were denied entry by hotel personnel.

After forcing their way into his room, the two allegedly forced Hampako to check out. They reportedly took some 400 kwacha and $300 bond notes in cash from the room.

Court heard they then ordered him to surrender the other cash he had on his person. Hampako told them that he had $30,000 in his vehicle.

However, the cops only recorded $700 and threatened him with a lengthy prison term if he remained in the country. Court heard they accused him of money laundering and fraud.

They then took the $30,000 and gave him back just 400 kwachas before speeding away in a vehicle which was being driven by Gadzikwa who was waiting outside the hotel.

Francesca Mukumbiri appeared for the state.

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