A Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative based at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International (RGMI) Airport, Chamakandiona Nyahunde also known as Vincent Moyo, has been arrested over the recent smuggling of gold to South Africa.
Nyahunde allegedly assisted Tashinga Nyasha Masinire in smuggling gold worth US$782 000 to South Africa on Sunday.
He appeared in court today facing two counts of Smuggling and Criminal abuse of office as a public officer.
Harare Magistrate Dennis Mangosi remanded Nyahunda to tomorrow for his bail application.
The court heard that on the 8th of May this year, Nyahunda was on duty at the Robert Mugabe International Airport, attached to the Aviation Ground Services.
It is alleged that he entered the Departure terminal wearing a jacket and trousers whose pockets were visibly laden with heavy objects.
Instead of going through the authorized entry route, Nyahunda is said to have avoided the scans and metal detectors fixed at the strategic points and proceeded through the Arrival terminal which is not allowed to be used at all when getting into the airport.
Masinire is said to have arrived at the airport driving a Ford Ranger Double Cab. He got out of the vehicle and an unidentified passenger that he had brought with him, took charge of the vehicle and drove off the airport.
The court was further told that Masinire, who was carrying a visibly light bag, went through the clearance procedures.
It is further alleged that Masinire then went into the smoking-room where Nyahunda joined him.
Masinire later got out of the smoking-room with his bag now heavy, such that at the point of boarding the flight, he used both hands to lift it up.
Masinire was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport by South Africa’s anti-organised crime unit, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks).
He is facing charges of contravening the Customs Act 91 of 1964 and Precious Metals Act 37 of 2005.
Speaking after Masinire’s arrest, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said authorities will leave no stone unturned in a bid to bring to justice the gold smuggling syndicate.
Kazembe said it was clear that Masinire was not working alone and vowed that all the culprits involved in the heist will be accounted for. Kazembe said:
We are going to leave no stone unturned until we get to the bottom of it. We want to establish how that happened, how he managed to go through all the security points. We will be able to establish what transpired and investigations are ongoing.
We have already established that when he walked in he didn’t have a bag, so we are going to find out how he ended up having a bag.