Legal and Parliamentary Affiars

Top detectives nabbed over diamonds racket

A diamond

Own Correspondent

TWO senior police detectives have been arrested over a US$3000 diamonds smuggling racket.

Joseph Mlambo, 36, an assistant inspector was arrested for possession of the precious stones and resisting arrest, and his superior Felix Machaka, 44, was nabbed for releasing him after his initial arrest by their juniors.

They have since appeared at the Mutare Magistrates’ Court and are out on ZWL$5000 bail each.

The State is alleging that Mlambo was initially arrested on May 29 together with Stanley Tafadzwa Mafukidze who was driving a Mazda BT 50 registration number ACI 5878 they were travelling in as they left Marange diamond fields.

Mlambo’s junior, one detective constable Chidhakwa had been tipped off that the vehicle was being used by the duo to smuggle out the precious stones.

Chidhakwa, together with detective sergeant major Manhivi and detective sergeant Magune set up an ambush at around 0500 hours.

The vehicle approached the ambush at 0730 hours and Chidhakwa who was armed with an AK 47 rifle corked his gun, jumped onto the road, and ordered the vehicle to stop.

Mlambo allegedly got off the vehicle shouting at the top of his voice ordering his juniors to stand down leading to a scuffle with Chidhakwa as he protested attempts to subject the vehicle to a search.

Manhivi, who was leading the team, later joined and managed to subdue Mlambo.

A subsequent vehicle search led to the recovery of 12 stones in a blue dust coat that allegedly belonged to Mlambo leading to their arrest.

Machaka was contacted and rushed from Mutare only meeting the team of detectives and their suspects.

The inspector took charge of the suspects and ordered the arresting team to proceed to the office where they booked the 12 stones.

Machaka later released his junior and Mafukidze, who is still to be re-arrested, leading to the 12 stones being sent to the assayer for assessment. 11 of the stones were confirmed to be diamonds and were valued at US$2 925.82.

Mlambo and Machaka were only arrested last week after internal police investigations in the handling of the issue.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende