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7 armed robbers wanted for high profile cases

by Staff reporter
05 Jul 2023 at 07:12hrs | Views
SEVEN suspected armed robbers who are on police's most wanted list for committing a spate of high profile criminal cases countrywide are believed to be operating and hiding in South Africa where most of them have bought expensive houses and are also operating businesses from the proceeds of crime.

The gang is wanted for committing a spate of robberies countrywide, including the raid of a cash-in-transit vehicle transporting nearly 12kg of gold worth US$675 000 from How Mine to Fidelity Printers and Refiners in October last year, financial institutions, money transfer agents, wholesalers and a grocery shops among others between May and October last year.

In Bulawayo alone, the gang reportedly got away with over US$858 000 and R508 000 in five raids within four months. The suspects are linked to several other robberies countrywide in which large amounts of cash was stolen.

They are Elijah Vumbunu alias Mupositori, David Sawadye, Israel Zulu, Kudakwashe Mudzingwa alias Umbro, Takafa Vumbunu alias Naison Mahembe, Paul Chinake and Brian Murape.

Investigations carried out revealed that after committing the crimes the gang would flee to the neighbouring country where they have established some businesses and they are pretending to be businesspeople.

One of them, Elijah Vumbunu, is alleged to be operating a trucking business and living in plush suburbs.

Police have since roped in the International Criminal Police Organisations (Interpol) to assist them in tracking down these suspected criminals.

In October last year, police in Bulawayo linked the suspects to four other armed robbery cases in the city.

Thirteen suspects raided a Securico Security Company cash-in-transit van which was transporting the gold from How Mine to Fidelity Printers in the city earlier in October last year.

Police then arrested three of the 13 and connected some of them to four similar forays that occurred in the city.

The gang has been fingered in heists at two financial institutions, a fruit and vegetable wholesaler and a grocery shop between May and October. In total, the gangsters have stolen US$858 000 and R508 000 in five raids within four months.

There is a US$5 000 bounty for anyone who may provide law enforcement agents with details that will lead to the arrest of the suspects.

The suspects included brothers Xiba Nkosilathi Tonderai Vumbunu, Abraham Vumbunu and Elijah Vumbunu.

Other suspects were identified as Israel Zulu, David Sanyatwe, Jimmy Gonyate, Vincent Ishmael Chabikwa, Abbysinia Shuma also known as Dulini, Kelvin and Mike.

The suspects were also wanted for robbery which occurred at Gain Cash and Carry wholesale situated at the corner of Jason Moyo and 6th Avenue in Bulawayo, on 18 May 2022.

They were also linked to a raid of Hamara supermarket situated along Fife Street between 4th and 5th Avenue which occurred on 30 May 2022.

Police said they were also linked to the robbery of Mukuru, a money agency situated at the corner of 13th Avenue and Herbert Chitepo Street which occurred on August 1, 2022.

The suspects were also linked with the armed robbery of CBZ Fife Street which happened on September 13.

Two of the armed robbers struck at Hamara fruit and vegetable supermarket and stole US$13 000 and R8 000.

On August 1, four gun-wielding robbers snatched US$100 000 and R500 000 after intercepting a cash-in-transit Safeguard vehicle outside a Mukuru money transfer agent.

The security details were about to deliver money at a Mukuru branch located along 13th Avenue, between Lobengula and Herbert Chitepo Street when the robbery occurred. The robbers disarmed the Safeguard security guards before looting the cash and escaping.

A month later, a team of five armed robbers pounced on CBZ Bank's Fife Street branch in Bulawayo and got away with US$70 000.

The suspects are said to have entered the banking hall pretending to be clients before pouncing on the bank's manager and getting away with cash.

When the robbers attacked a security team at How Mine, they were travelling in three cars, a Toyota Hilux GD6, Nissan Hard body single-cab and a Nissan March.

They ambushed and blocked the convoy of security officers from Securico before disarming the guards and loading the gold into their vehicles.

There was an exchange of gunfire after the How Mine chief security officer observed the armed robbery resulting in the robbers abandoning one of their cars. Hardly 24 hours after the robbery, police arrested three suspects Antony Moyo (39), Wilson Mutandwa (24) and Ernest Mutandwa (30).

In May last year, some of the four suspects raided a Securico Security Services cash-in-transit vehicle and stole US$91 980 and $514 840 at a Standard Chartered Bank automated teller machine (ATM) at Newlands Shopping Centre.

The robbers, who were armed and travelling in an unregistered white Honda Fit vehicle, attacked the security guards as they were coming out of the bank at around 11am, and then took two trunks carrying the cash and sped off. Alert police officers and the security guards tried to pursue the robbers, who made good their escape.

Sources close to the investigations said recently the gang also robbed a bureau de change in Botswana where they are also operating in and conducting armed robbery cases.

Source - The Herald