US$1.4 million seized as robbers strike Harare branch of ABC Auctions

HARARE – Cash and property worth US$1.4 million was stolen early Saturday after armed robbers forced open five safes at ABC Auctions on Seke Road in Harare, police said.

Four armed men overpowered two security guards who were on duty before tying up their hands and legs with shoelaces.

“Two of the robbers stayed behind to watch the guards while the other two proceeded to the company offices, where they blasted five safes and stole cash and property worth US$1,400,000,” police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said.

The incident took place at around 1.30AM.

Nyathi said many robberies are committed by people with inside information.

“As police, we are very much concerned about this trend because every time there is a major money heist like this, there is always someone who would have inside information,” he said.

The robbery is thought to be the second biggest heist after more than US$2.5 million was stolen from a ZB Bank cash-in-transit vehicle near Gwebi River along the Harare-Chinhoyi highway in January last year.

Zimbabwe is facing an upsurge in armed robberies, many of them linked to members of the security services.

On Sunday, ZimStat released statistics showing that there were 9,364 robberies in the two-year period between January 2020 and December 2021. In 2020, 931 of the robberies involved firearms, rising to 1,120 in 2021.

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