Police officers appear in court over extortion

Source: Police officers appear in court over extortion | The Herald (Crime & Court News)

Senior Court Reporter

Four officers from CID Minerals Fauna and Flora Unit in Harare appeared in court on allegations of extorting money from owners of Shengiang Investments, which buys, processes and exports lithium ores from Goromonzi.

Gracious Mhlanga, Martin Chirava, George Chagweda and Augastino Mudzingwa appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court yesterday charged with extortion before regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje, who remanded them to March 8 on $100 000 bail each.

The State led by Mr Kennedy Madekutsikwa alleges that on January 4, the four allegedly approached the directors of Shengiang Investments, identified themselves as police detectives and asked to check all company documents including mining licences in regard to the activities of Shengiang Investments.

Upon analysing the books and records, the four allegedly accused the company of buying lithium from illegal miners and illegally exporting the mineral ore.

It is said that they collected all the books and documents from the firm’s directors and threatened to shut down its business activities.

Then Detective Sergeant Chagweda allegedly demanded US$14 000 for the release of the books.

The officers also allegedly told the directors that they had been sent by their officer-in-charge and that officer would share the pay-off.

Out of fear of being arrested, the directors of the company raised only US$7 000, which they handed over to Det Sgt Mudzingwa.

They allegedly released the company books to Terrence Ncube, who is representing the company at court.

It is said the officers acknowledged visiting the scene by writing their names on the company’s occurrence book and it was signed by the all directors as proof that the money was given to the four.

The directors later went to lodge a complaint leading to the arrest of the four.

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