BULAWAYO – Gold worth US$650,000 was snatched on Tuesday morning after heavily armed men attacked a security convoy conveying the gold from How Mine to Fidelity Printers in Bulawayo.
A Securitas cash-in-transit van which was accompanied by three other vehicles from the mine was forced to stop when three vehicles blocked the road just after 7.30AM near an area known as ‘Magaya Stands’, about 10km from the mine.
Witnesses said up to 13 men armed with assault rifles and handguns quickly overwhelmed the security convoy.
A mine source said: “The guards in the three security vehicles which were first to be intercepted quickly surrendered. They were forced to lie down and disarmed of four guns. The robbers took the gold weighing 11.9kg before jumping into their vehicles – a Toyota GD6, a South Africa-registered Nissan NP300 and a Nissan March.”
A fourth vehicle in the mine security convoy, a Toyota Fortuner which was driving just minutes behind, arrived at the scene and pursued the robbers leading to a shootout.
The gunmen abandoned the Nissan NP300 not far from the crime scene.
“I understand the robbers ended up the ones pursuing the Fortuner, while shooting at it. The Fortuner lost their tail somewhere near Ekusileni Hospital in Hillside,” the source said.
The Nissan March was later found abandoned.
Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Department’s homicide division in Bulawayo are heading the investigation. How Mine is 22km south of Bulawayo.
In a statement, the Bulawayo Mining Company – which owns How Mine – said: “BMC advises that on the morning of October 4, 2022, an armed attack on security transit vehicles resulted in the theft of gold that was being transported from How Mine to Fidelity Printers and Refiners.
“Police have attended the scene and have begun investigations with the full cooperation of BMC.”
- This story has been edited to correct the weight of gold stolen. Police and the mine confirm it was 11.9kg. 1kg = US$54,633