Police officer, soldier charged over ABC Auctions robbery, 5 others sought

HARARE – A soldier and a police detective were on Thursday arraigned on charges of taking part in a heist at ABC Auctions in Harare during which cash and jewellery worth over US$1.2 million was stolen.

Cop, Kelvin Marimo, 42, and 36-year-old trooper Onisenge Zvomunya were not asked to plead when they appeared before Harare magistrate Taurai Manuwere.

They were remanded in custody to October 27 and advised to apply for bail at the High Court.

Prosecutors say the October 8 robbery was a conspiracy between eight men, one of whom was shot and killed by detectives on Wednesday in unclear circumstances, a day after he was arrested.

The National Prosecuting Authority alleges that the eight including the late Trymore Bondamakara and his brother, Bibience Bondamakara, who is still at large, proceeded to ABC Auctions on Seke Road at around 1AM.

They allegedly scaled over the security wall and approached security guards Langton Ziromba and Editor Meda with guns drawn.

The two guards were ordered to lie down and the robbers tied their hands and legs with shoe laces. The guards were searched and their mobile phones and panic buttons seized.

The men proceeded into the auction house premises where prosecutors say they forced open six safes using grinders and explosives.

They allegedly took US$1,014,000 in cash and jewellery worth US$250,000. The jewellery included gold coins, diamond rings, gold rings and gold chains.

Prosecutors say police made their breakthrough on October 11 when they arrested Trymore Bondamakara, Marimo and Zvomunya.

This led to the recovery of US$14,239 cash, several watches, gold chains and diamond rings.

Meanwhile, prosecutors are also charging the men with another robbery at Steward Bank offices on Churchill Road in Harare’s Gunhill suburb on October 5.

Prosecutors say security guard Tawanda Panganai was doing a perimeter check at around 6PM when six men accosted him with guns pointed. He was disarmed of a pistol he was carrying with five rounds of ammunition.

After the robbers used iron bars to force their way into the premises, they allegedly opened two safes and found them empty. They took a third safe which the bank advised police was also empty.

The bank said it suffered losses of US$1,350 from the damaged and stolen safes.

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