Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
THREE security guards who were delivering US$2,5 million and $40 000 to Chinhoyi in a cash-in-transit vehicle were attacked and robbed of the money at gunpoint by six armed robbers they had offered a lift.
The incident occurred on Wednesday at around 2PM along the Harare-Chinhoyi Road near Gwebi Bridge.
One of the six suspects pounced on the driver after he had stopped the car, a Toyota Hilux single cab, at Gwebi Bridge lay-by to relieve himself.
The suspect then produced a pistol and fired a single shot in the air to instil fear before his five accomplices disarmed one of the security guards of his service 303 rifle.
The six-armed robbers tied the victims’ hands and legs before they drove the car carrying the cash towards a nearby bush where they offloaded seven cash boxes containing US$2,5 million and $40 000.
They loaded the cash boxes into their car, a red Toyota whose model could not be established, and sped off.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they were now investigating the matter. He appealed to anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects to contact any nearest police station.
“The ZRP is investigating circumstances which led to a cash-in-transit motor vehicle robbery of US$2,5 million and Z$40 000 which occurred along the Harare-Chinhoyi Road at Gwebi Bridge lay-by on 6 January 2021 at 2PM.
Anyone with information on the four suspects to contact any nearest police station,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi said the three security guards were travelling to Chinhoyi to conduct a cash-in-transit task.
“On board they had seven cash boxes containing approximately US$2,5 million and $40 000 local currency. Along the way they picked six male passengers at Westgate and Inkomo Turn-Off,” he said.
“On approaching Gwebi Bridge lay-by, the driver stopped as one of the complainants wanted to relieve himself. One of the passengers produced an unidentified pistol and fired a single shot in the air while his accomplices disarmed one of the complainants of his 303 rifle.”
Asst Comm Nyathi said the suspects tied the security guards’ hands and legs before they drove the car to the bush where they offloaded the money.
He said the suspects loaded the seven boxes into their car, a Toyota whose make and registration numbers are unknown.
The complainants later reported the matter to the police and investigations are underway. The incident comes two months after six armed robbers attacked two security guards delivering Zupco’s weekend cash collections to CBZ Eighth Avenue Branch in Bulawayo, got away with over $2,1 million, US$3 362 and R7 390.
Only $11 305 was recovered at a disused house at a plot in the Douglasdale area in Bulawayo where the getaway car, a Nissan Hardbody and trunks used by the security company to carry cash were recovered.
The robbers according to police, offered the $11 000 to a Bulawayo resident as they disposed of the trunks but the man refused the money.
The robbers intercepted the Fawcett Security cash-in transit- van as it was about to deliver the cash at the bank. They attacked the Fawcett driver, took away the firearm that was on the dashboard and then turned to the other officer who was guarding the trucks with cash and attacked him before driving off with the armoured van that had cash in trunks.
The robbery happened in full view of members of the public who were oblivious of the unfolding drama in the service lane along 8th Avenue between Jason Moyo and Joshua Mqabuko Street.
After the Bulawayo robbery, the same gang proceeded to Kezi later at night with the hijacked Mercedes Benz where they robbed a Fidelity Printers agent of US$4 000 after masquerading as police officers.
In December last year, five armed robbers ambushed a cash-in-transit vehicle at Chivi Growth Point, Masvingo province, disarmed three security guards and got away with US$35 000, R350 000 and $2 000.
The Safeguard Security vehicle was delivering the cash to Mukuru branch at the Growth Point when the robbers struck on Monday at 9.34AM.
According to police, the robbers pounced on the cash in transit vehicle as the guards were about to deliver the cash to the branch.
In October last year, eight armed robbers raided the Bulawayo High Court and gained entry into the court’s criminal registry after attacking and disarming police officers manning the premises.
The suspects, who were reportedly armed with pistols, left two police officers injured as they forced their way into the court building and finally the criminal registry. — @mashnets