DETECTIVES in Mutare have launched an investigation into an armed robbery case in which 10 criminals allegedly bulldozed their way into the Chiadzwa diamond fields and looted two dump trucks of diamond ore before vanishing into the darkness.
The diamond ore theft occurred last Sunday, around 1am.
The criminals, suspected to be highly trained and co-ordinated, allegedly rounded up and disarmed unsuspecting Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) security guards on duty.
They allegedly assaulted them before force marching one of them to what is known as “the RBZ plant” where the diamond ore was stored.
Manicaland police spokesperson Inspector Tavhiringwa Kakohwa confirmed the incident, but refused to discuss the details with the press.
“Investigations are in progress and the suspects are still on the run. I cannot comment now because I do not have full details of the alleged incident,” he said.
However, police sources privy to the investigations said the value of the stolen diamond ore was still being quantified.
They said on December 16, at around 1am, a group of suspected illegal diamond panners proceeded to the ZCDC Portal A, RBZ area 1, and approached the security guard on duty.
“On their way to the plant, the group came across two other dog handlers and ordered them to lie on the ground facing upwards. They asked for directions to the diamond ore. The dog handlers informed them that the whole area had diamond ore. That is when another group of diamond panners approached them,” said the source.
“Another security guard who was on duty patrolling the area armed with a short gun riffle, spotted the accused persons and approached them. He was, however, apprehended, disarmed and ordered to lie down alongside the other two dog handlers”.
“Four criminals were left guarding the captive security guards while the other criminals proceeded to RBZ plant,” added the source.
The source said the robbers found two dump truck operators who were resting, and ordered them to reveal where the diamond ore was stored.
“The operators showed them a heap of diamond ore and the panners started loading it into some sacks. The group then left towards the eastern direction.
They returned the fire arm that they had confiscated from one of the guards,” said the source. The ZCDC guards later informed Dingiswayo Jeremiah Gumbo, who was the security officer on duty about the robbery.
A report was made at ZRP Marange. Detectives from Mutare Central attended the scene.
source: The ManicaPost