A 29-year-old man from Chivhu, Mashonaland East province, has been arrested for allegedly printing and selling fake COVID-19 travelling exemption letters bearing a Delta Beverages logo for US$5.
The suspect, Tatenda Mabara, of 109 Ephraim Blank Street, was arrested after police laid a trap, posing as potential clients.
According to Mashonaland East provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tendai Mwanza, police in Chivhu received a tip-off and proceeded to set a trap pretending that they wanted exemption letters.
Police officers contacted Mabara on the pretext that they wanted an exemption letter and he unknowingly asked the police officers to supply the details of the person who wanted the exemption letter.
On 18 January, the suspect was supplied with the details through WhatsApp and he then forwarded a soft copy of the exemption letter through one of the police operatives’ mobile phones.
The suspect then told the police to bring the US$5 or R100 payment to a bottle store in central Chivhu.
When Mabara met the police officers, he was given 100 rands and then produced two exemption letters, claiming that the issuer of the exemption letters was a Delta Beverages employee.
He was subsequently arrested and upon being interrogated, he revealed that he produced the exemption letters at his home.
A search was conducted at the suspect’s home and an HP Compaq desktop set was recovered which had soft copies of exemption letters for Chivhu Delta Beverages depot’s six employees.
Mabara also told police that he was once employed as a merchandiser at the same depot before his resignation.