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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Truck Driver Disappears with R5.5 Million Copper Consignment, Dumps Vehicle

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A truck driver has disappeared with a staggering 36 tonnes of copper valued at $300k, over R5.5 million, in Zimbabwe.

The incident occurred during a routine trip from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Mozambique.

Francis Chipoka, a Zambian national working for City Frontiers Transport, headquartered in Lusaka, reportedly vanished along with the valuable cargo on March 31.

Authorities have issued a plea for any information that could lead to Chipoka’s apprehension and recovery of the stolen copper.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police have confirmed that Chipoka was entrusted with the task of transporting the significant copper haul on behalf of City Frontiers Transport.

The journey was meant to span from Lusaka, Zambia to Beira, Mozambique, utilizing a Howo Sinotruk super-link truck bearing registration number BCF 7479ZM.

The white truck was towing two trailers, identified by registration numbers BCF 9285ZM and BCF 9286ZM respectively.

Read | Stolen copper worth R6m destined for China recovered in Durban

“The truck is installed with a tracking system which is monitored from Zambia. According to the tracker, the truck left Chirundu border post at 10.30hrs and arrived in Marondera at around 21.45hrs and parked at Knors Petroleum Marondera, along Harare-Mutare highway for the night. It left on 31 March 2024 at around 5.00hrs heading east along Harare-Mutare highway and it was dumped in the central business district at Macheke at around 7.45am,” police said.

Upon inspection, authorities found the truck parked opposite Vegono Supermarket and a nearby bottle store.

Shockingly, the tarpaulin covering the cargo had been removed, and the trailers were filled with empty wooden boxes typically used for transporting bananas.

Notably, the consignment documents were left behind inside the vehicle.

Witnesses have come forward, stating that the truck was parked in Macheke on March 31st by an unidentified slim, dark-complexioned individual donning a bluish T-shirt and black trousers adorned with reflectors.

Furthermore, investigations are underway to determine whether the copper was onboard the truck upon entering Zimbabwe or if it had been replaced with the wooden boxes prior to crossing the Chirundu border post.

The hunt for Francis Chipoka intensifies, with hopes of recovering the missing copper consignment and bringing the perpetrator to justice.

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