ZB US$2,7m heist mastermind in court

Source: ZB US$2,7m heist mastermind in court | Herald (Crime)

The ZB Bank US$2.5million heist suspected mastermind Shadreck Jowa being escorted into the Harare Magistrates Court yesterday. – Picture: Lee Maidza

Chido Nyamuyaruka Court Correspondent

 Suspected ZB Bank cash heist mastermind, Shadreck Jowa, appeared in court yesterday and was remanded to October 31 for trial.

He was advised to apply for bail at the High Court given the seriousness of the alleged offence.

Jowa (55) is alleged to have masterminded the robbery of US$2,7 million and $43 000, which occurred last year at Gwebi River Bridge along the Harare-Chirundu Road.

He appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Taurai Manwere.

Jowa’s co-accused are expected to appear in court on the same day for trial.

His wife, along with children, are expected to appear in court today.

Investigations done by the police indicate that there is evidence of communication between Jowa and his accomplices before and during the commission of the offence.

There is evidence that Jowa was at, or around the crime scene in Nyabira when the heist was pulled, a suspicious development given that he stays in Highfield, Harare.

Jowa was implicated by his accomplices as having participated in the commission of the offence.

The accused dug a pit at his yard and buried the cash to conceal the offence.

Cash amounting to US$20 500 linked to the robbery was recovered hidden at his rural house in Mudakwenda Village, Chief Mushava, Mamina, soon after the offence.

Circumstances are that on January 6, 2021 at around 1130 hours, Jowa and his accomplices who are already on remand together with others who remain at large, hatched a plan to rob cash-in-transit van carrying seven boxes laden with cash amounting to US$2 775 000 and $43 090.

Fanuel Musakwa, who was one of the cash-in-transit crew members, would allegedly communicate and update Jowa of their movements.

The cash was to be distributed to ZB Bank branches in Chinhoyi, Kadoma, Kwekwe, Gweru, Fife Street Bulawayo Branch, Gwanda and Zvishavane.

Jowa is alleged to have conspired with other suspects that are yet to be arrested, to steal the cash.

It is understood that along the way, the driver of the cash-in-transit van stopped to pick up three accomplices at Inkomo Turn-off after Fanuel Musakwa requested that they be picked up on the pretext they genuine travellers who were hitchhiking.

When they reached 60km peg, the driver stopped the vehicle and some suspects who were in the car disembarked and produced a pistol, threatening to shoot the crew members.

Other accomplices immediately arrived, driving a red Toyota Hilux twin-cab owned and driven by Gerald Rutizirira.

The Toyota Hilux pulled off the road where four accomplices, armed with unidentified pistols, confronted them.

The suspects then drove the cash-in-transit van off the highway to a secluded place and offloaded the boxes of cash, before loading them into a red Toyota Hilux and driving off the scene, leaving the crew members.

The accused went to some farms west of Nyabira where they broke the boxes and stole cash amounting to US$2 775 000 and $43 090 and shared the loot amongst themselves before dumping the boxes.

Jowa was arrested on Wednesday this week after nearly two years of sidestepping police traps.

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