Security personnel transporting large amounts of money, gold or other valuables have a reputation for high speed.
They are no-nonsense figures who let their stern countenances, high speed and big guns speak. They are not expected to rest or entertain anyone who is not part of their team until they accomplish their task which is to safely deliver the cash or other valuables at the intended destination.
However, we had a unique, nay curious case on Wednesday, when three security guards sent to deliver a whopping US$2, 5 million and $40 000 to Chinhoyi in a cash-in-transit vehicle offered six men a lift at Westgate and Inkomo turn-off in Harare.
The guards and their passengers, according to a report we carried yesterday, took off and on approaching Gwebi Bridge at around 2pm, the driver stopped the car to relieve himself, his second stop within about 54km.
As he was relieving himself one of his six passengers produced a pistol and fired one shot in the air to “instill fear” in the security crew. The attacker’s five accomplices took the opportunity to disarm 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. There the robbers found a car, offloaded seven cash boxes containing US$2,5 million and $40 000 and loaded them into it. They then sped off. The armed robbery was done!
“Is it allowed to give lifts to people when transporting money?” a reader asked in the comments section of our online story yesterday.
“You conveniently give a lift to armed robbers and not other hitch hikers, 10 km down the road you conveniently asked to relieve yourself. You do not need a Grade 1 to crack the case.”
Yet another laughed:
“Ha ha inside job….”
We await the result of police investigations that are underway to unravel the robbery.
However, we are tempted to agree with the trending view that sees many holes in the robbery.
A driver transporting so much money stops to give strangers a lift, drives off but pulls off the road after a few kilometres to relieve himself. As he does that one of the strangers fires a shot into the air and they grab the cash boxes.
The robbers drive off and just down the road they find a vehicle into which they load the cash, leave the guards’ and drive off.
If it was a genuine robbery, it is one of the smartest ever, but if it was a script, it is one of the dumbest ever.
We are concerned about the many armed robberies that are happening nationwide and urge police to spare no effort in accounting for the dangerous criminals.
Among the biggest ones is that which happened in Bulawayo two months ago. 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.
We report elsewhere today that police say the three security guards are among the suspects.
As we have said, we await the conclusion of police investigations and the decision of the court.
The three guards may actually be innocent and be acquitted, we have to emphasise.
However, we think they have a good amount of explaining to do.