May 7, 2021

Cops rob cigarette smuggler of contraband

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Lloyd Ndemo

Four serving members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, working with three civilians allegedly robbed a man who was attempting to smuggle boxes of cigarettes to South Africa.

The police officers, two of them armed with rifles, intercepted Comfort Matombo who was transporting 20 boxes of Remington gold blue cigarettes worth $2 thousand 500 U.S. dollars along the Beitbridge-Chikwalakwala road and confiscated his contraband.

Matombo reported the matter to the police, leading to the arrest of two police officers. The other two police officers and civilian accomplices are on the run.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident.

“We are investigating a case of robbery that involves civilians and members of the police. They are said to have robbed a complainant, Comfort Matombo of 20 boxes Remington blue cigarettes valued at USD 2500 and one of them is Constable Twala and they are currently assisting police with investigations.”

According to police sources, on Monday the complainant, Comfort Matombo (36) was transporting 40 boxes of Remington Gold Blue cigarettes intending to get the contraband across to South Africa through an illegal crossing point along the Limpopo River.

His vehicle was intercepted by 7 men, two of whom were armed with rifles and threatened the complainant and his team who then ran away, leaving behind boxes of Remington Gold Blue cigarettes in their vehicle. The accused persons then loaded the boxes into their motor vehicle and drove off towards Beitbridge.

The source further alleges that the complainant, Comfort Matombo managed to capture the registration number of the accused persons’ white Toyota Hiace vehicle before running away. He then reported the matter at Beitbridge Rural Police Station.

Investigations led to the arrest of Cephas Chigiya (35) of 933 Medium Density, Beitbridge and the recovery of the getaway vehicle loaded with 20 boxes of Remington Gold Blue cigarettes.

Sources say upon his arrest, Cephas Chigiya implicated Constable Mudzagada T. of Z.R.P Beitbridge Rural who was then later arrested and also implicated Constable Chizema of Z.R.P Beitbridge Rural, Constable Twala B. and Constable Misipa E. both of Charlie Troop and 2 others who are yet to be identified.

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