Police in Manicaland Province recently arrested four suspected illegal diamond dealers on two separate occasions after detectives quickly reacted to tip-offs from members of the public.
Luwin Neshamba (30) and his brother Nigel (23) of Zimunya Street in Murambi were arrested on 1 October after an informant spotted them at a well-known illegal diamond trading zone in Marange.
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Kelly Rwodzi (50) of Methuen Street also in Murambi and his wife Mildred (47) were also arrested on 1 October after detectives from the MFFU headquarters in Harare who were in Mutare received information that they were dealing in diamonds.
The detectives were told that the Rwodzis were on their way to Mutare from Chiadzwa.
Both the Neshamba brothers and Rwodzi couple were last week on Saturday hauled before Mutare magistrate Perseverance Makala on allegations of illegally dealing in diamonds after they were found in possession of six pieces of diamonds.
Each of the four suspects was granted $10 000 bail and will be back in court on 20 October for routine remand.
Public prosecutor Chris Munyuku said the Neshamba brothers were seated in a Honda Fit when they were arrested. He said:
The informant, who is employed by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company, approached the accused persons and asked them to produce the motor vehicle permit and their identification cards, but they failed. They were subsequently arrested.
Detectives from the Minerals, Flora and Fauna Unit crack team who were on surveillance at Hot Springs were called and they conducted a search in the vehicle.
They recovered six pieces of diamonds which were stashed in the car’s cigarette lighter port.
Munyuki said the Rwodzi couple was arrested by detectives at the 22 Miles Toll-gate along Mutare- Chimanimani Highway and taken to Mutare Central Police Station. Said Munyuki:
The detectives proceeded to 22 Miles Toll-gate along Mutare- Chimanimani Highway where they waylaid the accused persons.
The couple later arrived at the tollgate while driving a Toyota Lexus, and detectives pounced on them.
The suspects and the motor vehicle were escorted to Mutare Central Police Station where a search was conducted, leading to the recovery of two pieces of diamonds weighing 1.8g (nine carats) which were stashed in the steering wheel cover.