HARARE - An ex-cop and two serving police officers reportedly connived and stole 33 000 rounds of ammunition from Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) National Armoury.
They allegedly delivered them to Chinese national Wencai Huo, a magistrate heard yesterday.
Huo was last week granted $2 000 and ordered to deposit $100 000 surety over charges of contravening the Fire Arms Act after police details discovered more than 33 000 rounds of assorted ammunition at his Msasa offices in Harare.
The three, Ananias Machingura, 40, Vengesai Hakunandaba, 47, and Brian Marufu, 39, appeared before Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe facing theft charges.
Machingura is a former police officer while Hakunandaba and Marufu are employed at ZRP National Armoury at Morris Depot in Harare.
The State opposed bail on the basis that if released, the trio will tamper with investigations and abscond trial.
The investigating officer Romeo Makavi said: “This is a serious State security matter and some of the ammunition is yet to be recovered.
“There is high suspicion that some of the ammunition might be in the hands of criminals and further offences are likely to be unearthed as a result of this case.”
Opposing bail, prosecutor Sharon Mashavira said the trio was conversant with the law and the fate that awaits them if convicted, hence their chances of absconding were high.
“Accused persons are serving law officers and former police officers who understand how the court functions. They are aware of the fate that awaits them and are likely to flee to avoid incarceration,” she said.
Mashavira alleged that from 2007 to July this year, Machingura, Hankunandaba and Marufu stole 33 216 rounds of ammunition on different occasions and sold them.
Police officers who reacted to a tip off arrested Huo who had bought the ammunition. They recovered the ammunition before Machingura, Hakunandaba and Marufu were also arrested.
The police details recovered 1 146 x 7,62mm and 29 934 x 7,65mm rounds of ammunition.
They also discovered 323 x 12 bore rounds of ammunition, 20 by 9 x18mm rounds of ammunition and 1x243mm rounds of live ammunition.
During the search, police also found two bars of gold bullion, one cone of bullion, two small pieces of suspected smelted gold buttons and gold granules as well as 32 pieces of Chinese chess ivory.
It is the State’s case that Huo was in possession of three unregistered firearms, a CZ pistol and two FN Browning shotguns.