TWO senior police officers from CID Minerals Flora and Fauna were arrested yesterday as investigations into the alleged attempted smuggling of 6kg of gold by Henrietta Rushwaya continue, taking the number arrested to seven.
Superintendent Douglas Shoko and Detective Chief Inspector Paul Chimhungu are accused of tampering with court documents that incriminate Ali Mohammed, fingered by Rushwaya as the organiser of the smuggling attempt, and are being charged with criminal abuse of duty.
Upon her arrest at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport on Monday, Rushwaya is alleged to have told police she was given the four bars by someone she identified as Ali, who resides in Alexandra Park in Harare.
The two officers arrested Ali Mohammed on Monday soon after Rushwaya named him, but released him the same day, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said yesterday.
“They tampered with court documents which indicated that Rushwaya had submitted documents which incriminate Ali Mohammed.”
The arrest of the two officers brings the number of arrested people in connection to the Rushwaya gold smuggling case to seven: Rushwaya, then Ali Mohamad, Gift Karanda, Stephen Chenjerai Tserayi and Raphios Mufandauya on Wednesday, and now the two senior detectives.
Prosecutors in remand hearings have told magistrates that there was a complex plot to pass Rushwaya with her hand luggage containing the gold bars through the VIP route at the airport without her being checked, and when things went wrong, to try and get her released.
Rushwaya (53), who is seeking bail at the courts, remains in custody following her arrest on Monday morning by police detectives after the gold was allegedly detected by Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe scanners and Rushwaya, failed to produce documents authorising her to export the gold.
The State has applied to have withdrawn its consent to bail for Rushwaya of $90 000 and surety of the title deeds to a Borrowdale property owned by her lawyer, and a ruling on whether that consent can be withdrawn is expected today.