A 27-year-old man from Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, has appeared before Nyanga Magistrate, Ms Enia Ndiraya on charges of possessing 600kg of marijuana and attempting to bribe a police officer.
Tinashe Struggle Chapera was remanded in prison to 9 August. The charges are defined in section 170(1) (b) (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23) as unlawful dealing with dangerous drugs.
The court heard that on the 6 June 2019 police at Ruwangwe received a tip-off that that there was a white Nissan Caravan vehicle registration number AEU8376 loading cannabis at Kaitano Village under Chief Katerere.
Police reacted to the information and proceeded to the area where they laid an ambush. After two hours the car appeared and police officers tried to stop it, but it sped off.
After a high speed chase and on realising that the police were closing in on them three male occupants of the car abandoned it and fled into a nearby bush.
Upon searching the car, police discovered 25 sacks of marijuana weighing 600 kilogrammes with an estimated street value of RTGS$1 million. They impounded the contraband and the car which they took to Ruwangwe police station as exhibits.
The following morning, one of the suspects phoned a police officer offering US$1000 for the release of 15 bags of the dagga seized and the motor vehicle.
The police officer informed his superior about the suspect who was claiming ownership of the drug. Criminal Investigation Department. CID Nyanga was informed and they set a trap.
The suspect approached the police officer who was being used as bait and offered him the bribe money. Upon producing the money, undercover detectives pounced on the suspect and recovered US$670 and R1350.
Chapera pleaded not guilty to the charges.