12 September 2017

Zimbabwe: Interpol Tracks Botswana Garage Robbers to Victoria Falls

Photo: Kounosu/Wikipedia
Victoria Falls Airport (file photo).

Victoria Falls — Police have arrested two men who raided a fuel station in Botswana at gun point and stole about 12 000 pula cash and some cellphone handsets before fleeing into Zimbabwe.

Sambulo Ngwenya and Leonard Ndebele pounced at Bozazi garage last month where they forcibly opened a till to steal the cash before pointing a firearm at the manager and security guard as well as the cashier.

Ngwenya, 34, and Ndebele, 31, both of Chinotimba suburb fled from the scene with $12 050 pula after firing at the manager missing him by an inch.

They took away two handsets from the manager and fled into Zimbabwe where they continued with their lives in Victoria Falls.

Luck ran out for the two after Interpol tracked them to Chinotimba suburb where they were arrested last week resulting gin them appearing in court Monday.

Ngwenya and Ndebele were charged with theft when they appeared before Victoria Falls magistrate Rangarirai Gakanje.

The state could not press armed robbery charges since the crime was committed in a foreign country hence the local court legally has no jurisdiction over the particular crime.

Ngwenya and Ndebele pleaded guilty to theft.

They were sentenced to 24 months in jail each although the magistrate suspended three months for five years on condition of good behaviour.

A further three months were suspended on condition they collectively restitute $932 being the value of the two cellphone handsets they stole from the garage manager.

Botswana police last week visited Victoria Falls to identify the stolen valuables and process repatriation papers so the duo can be tried in Zimbabwe.

There was no mention about whether the 12 050 pula was recovered.

Prosecuting Takunda Ndovorwi said the crime was committed on August 21.

The prosecutor said the two used an unknown object to force open a till where they looted the money.

"The accused forced the security guard and cashier to lie down as they demanded keys for the money safe to which the security guard told them that he didn't have.

As they were still pointing the gun at the two workers, the garage manager arrived at the scene unaware that there were robbers and they also pointed a gun at him upon which they took away two cellphone handsets," said the prosecutor.

The court was told that the armed robbers left the shop and the manager attempted to follow them outside but ran for dear life after one of the attackers shot at him, missing him by an inch.

The two then disappeared into the night.

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