Anjin Diamonds Airport Theft Case: Bail Ruling Tomorrow

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Five individuals implicated in a diamond theft case at Anjin’s offices located within Robert Mugabe International Airport will know their fate tomorrow as a Harare court prepares to rule on bail for the accused.

The accused individuals Silas Chirume (54), Edward Jacob Gunda (62), Maison Phiri (37), Steven Wahita (56), and Isaac Muripa (37) vehemently deny the theft charges, asserting that the state’s case lacks evidence. Their lawyers argue that crucial CCTV footage has not been presented in court, casting doubt on the accusations or the existence of the so-called footage.

Allegations suggest that on April 17, 2024, around 9 am, Anjin Investments (Pvt) Ltd conducted a diamond packing exercise in preparation for shipping diamonds to the United Arab Emirates to a company called Erleen Gold Trading DMCC Dubai.

Personnel from Anjin, Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe, CID Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit (MFFU) Harare, and the customer, Paolo Persico, representing Erleen Gold Trading DMCC Dubai, were present during packing. Silas Chirume (54), Edward Jacob Gunda (62), Maison Phiri (37), Steven Wahita (56), and Isaac Muripa (37) were part of the team responsible for packing 100 parcels into 10 bags before sealing them in a trunk.

Chirume is a diamond inspector at MMCZ, Phiri is a seasoned diamond evaluator at MMCZ, and Gunda is an assistant security manager at Anjin Investments at Robert Gabriel Mugabe (RGM) International Airport in Harare.

Wahita serves as a security supervisor at Anjin Investments stationed at RGM International Airport, while Muripa is a detective constable at CID MFFU Harare attached to RGM International Airport.

Police investigations revealed that during packing, the accused persons allegedly conspired and stole one sachet containing diamonds weighing 98.20 carats (19.64 grams). The consignment was shipped to the customer in the United Arab Emirates on May 3, 2024, but upon receipt, it was discovered that parcel number 39, containing diamonds weighing 98.20 carats, was missing.

The MMCZ notified the police, leading to an investigation. Six days later, detectives from CID MFFU Harare reviewed CCTV footage at Anjin’s offices at the airport. During the review, Chirume was allegedly observed picking one parcel containing diamonds and placing it in his right trousers pocket reportedly in full view of the other accused persons. Chirume was arrested and later implicated Phiri, Gunda, Wahita and Muripa.

It is claimed that Chirume admitted to sharing the proceeds with his accomplices and led the police to recover a silver Honda Fit, registration number AFA 1397, which he bought for US$3,200 using his share of the loot.

Subsequently, the other accused persons were arrested on separate occasions.

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The state denies the accused’s bail, citing the strength of the case and concerns about porous borders.

The defence argues for bail, contending that the state’s case is weak.

The defence further contends that Edward Jacob Gunda (62), Maison Phiri (37), Steven Wahita (56), and Isaac Muripa (37) were merely implicated without substantial evidence. They argue that the police have no other evidence to confirm the involvement of these accused individuals in the alleged theft.

Additionally, the accused highlighted that they were arrested to aid in the investigation process.

Maison Phiri (37) refutes allegations of using stolen money for school fees, stating that his employer, Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ), covered his children’s fees.

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