Cop in extortion scam

HARARE - Police have arrested a member of the special constabulary unit who allegedly connived with a night club owner and two cops to extort $12 000 from an Israeli businessman and mine owner.

Delish Nguwaya yesterday appeared before magistrate Tendai Mahwe on extortion charges.

Mahwe was released on a $100 bail.

Nguwaya is jointly charged with owner of Kebbab night club, Edmore Zviitwa, Victor Makoni and Richard Majome.

The four allegedly swindled Gilad Shabtai, an Israeli national who has business interests in the country.

The court heard Zviitwa sent his accomplices to Meikles Hotel where Shabtai was booked. Upon arrival, the court heard two of the alleged accomplices introduced themselves as police officers, while the other said he was a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) official.

According to state papers, the three were escorted to Shabtai’s room by a Meikles attendant.

Zviitwa’s accomplices accused Shabtai of failing to pay his workers and threatened to close his Chegutu mine.

The court heard they demanded $20 000 from Shabtai, before threatening him with detention if he failed to pay the money.

Shabtai, the court heard, advised his friend Jacob Shwarts who was booked in the same hotel to call Zviitwa to come and assist him.

Zviitwa allegedly took his accomplices aside purporting to negotiate and later told Shabtai that they have agreed to reduce the amount to $12 000.

According to state papers, Zviitwa allegedly offered to help Shabtai since he had no money with him then.

The following day Zviitwa allegedly lied to Shabtai that he had paid the money and wanted his refund.

Shabtai allegedly gave Zviitwa $1 000 as a token of appreciation, according to state papers.

Shabtai became suspicious of the purported police officers and Zimra official and filed a police report leading to Zviitwa’s arrest.

He will be back in court on February 1. - Tendai Kamhungira

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