9 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Ticoz Directors Granted Bail

TWO Ticoz Protection Services directors accused of supplying information leading to the robbery of two Savanna Tobacco Zimbabwe trucks carrying cigarettes worth over R5 million were yesterday granted US$500 bail each. Tarwireyi Tirivavi (48) and Tinashe Dekeya (35) had been in remand for the past two weeks.

They are represented by Mr Shingi Mutumbwa of Mutumbwa, Mugabe and Partners.

High Court judge Justice Andrew Mutema granted bail with the consent of Mr Bensen Taruvinga of the Attorney General's Office.

As part of their bail conditions Justice Mutema ordered the pair to report once every week at Harare Central Police station.

They were also ordered to reside at their given addresses and not to interfere with State witnesses.

The complainant in the matter is Savanna Tobacco Zimbabwe represented by its head of operations Mr Simon Kapuya.

The State alleges that sometime in April, a South African company Forensic Security Services contracted Ticoz, owned by the three, who were once employees of Forest Security Consultancy.

It alleged that Forest Security Consultancy was once contracted to survey all indigenous tobacco manufacturers in Zimbabwe and pass the information to Forensic Security Services.

Another South African Company, Tobacco Institute of South Africa had contracted Forensic Security to monitor and suppress locally-manufactured cigarettes in the Sadc region and promote products of British American Tobacco.

Ticoz would allegedly gather information of consignments from indigenous companies being exported in the region and send information to Forensic Security Services.

The State says the information was then used to rob the consignments at gunpoint while in South Africa, depriving the local companies and the country of revenue.

On May 14, it is alleged, two Savanna trucks with cigarettes worth R3 901 388, 80 were stolen in Germiston and a report was made in South Africa.

On August 13 this year in Germiston, another Savanna truck was robbed of cigarettes worth R1 862 600.

On September 26, Muronzereyi was arre-sted by a Savanna Tobacco security officer after he was seen recording registration numbers of trucks entering and leaving Savanna.

It is alleged that upon being interviewed, Muronzereyi said he was employed by Ticoz to record details of vehicles entering and leaving Savanna. A book with the vehicles' registration numbers in question was found in his pocket when he was searched.

Muronzereyi implicated Dekeya and Tirivavi as the persons who had contracted him. The total value of the stolen cigarettes is R5 763 988, 80.

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