By Rex Mphisa

A POLICE constable based at Beitbridge Border Post has been taken to court for extortion after he allegedly held on to an importer’s car to demand a R40 000 bribe.

Obvious Senior Moyo of Dulivhadzimo in Beitbridge went further to hide the car in Harare to press his demand, it is alleged.

On Saturday, Moyo who faces a charge of criminal abuse of office or alternatively extortion, was granted $1 000 bail by Beitbridge provincial magistrate Perseverance Makhala.

He was not asked to plead.

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The State, led by prosecutor Ronald Mugwagwa is alleging that early this month, Taurai Zhou met Bright Moyana and Anyway Kawara at the Beitbridge Border Post seeking their assistance to smuggle his car from South Africa — a Mercedes Benz, with chassis number WDD21034B150056 and registration number ND 78791 into Zimbabwe.

Zhou was to pay Moyana and Kawara R15 000 for the job and a deal was sealed.

Later on, Moyo handcuffed Moyana and Kawara and took them in his car to Zhou.

Moyo allegedly told Zhou that he had arrested the two for attempting to smuggle the latter’s car which was now in his possession.

He produced the keys as proof and then demanded R40 000 bribe to release the two and the car without pressing charges against them.

Zhou allegedly agreed and said he would make arrangements to withdraw the cash from Musina in South Africa the following day.

The next day, Zhou who had since alerted the police, invited Moyo to pick up 50% of the bribe money at a local lodge.

Moyo drove into a trap by his employer and was arrested upon arrival at the lodge, leading to the recovery of the car keys. He then led his police colleagues to Park Lane in Harare, where he had hidden the car.

He is expected in court for routine remand in a fortnight.

Beitbridge lawyer Reason Mutimba appeared for Moyo.