A Zimbabwean truck driver, Masimba Murombo, has been arrested three weeks after allegedly stealing 30 tonnes of copper to the value of US$719,750.00 which is slightly over R11 500 000,00.
The 47-year-old trucker who is employed by Biltrans Services (Private) Limited, allegedly stole the copper that he was transporting from DRC to South Africa.
It is alleged that Murombo loaded 31 980 kilogrammes of processed copper from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to South Africa via Zimbabwe.
He was allocated a truck fitted with vehicle tracking systems namely Global Positioning System (GPS) and Frequency Modulation (FM) transmitter, as well as a Sendem fleet management tracker.
Upon arrival at Chirundu Border Post, Murombo allegedly disconnected the FM transmitter and Sendem Fleet Management tracker, such that it could not send his movement records to the Biltrans head office.
It is further alleged he drove the truck to Eleven Miles truck stop near Lion’s Den in Chinhoyi, where he parked it.
In order to deceive Biltrans, Murombo communicated with the transport controller and lied he would spend the night at Eleven Miles truck stop.
On the same date, around 10pm, the court further heard, Murombo tampered with the tracking systems in order to start the vehicle ignition as it doesn’t function if trackers are disconnected. At this juncture, a signal was relayed to Biltrans on the exact location of the truck.
Soon after starting the engine, Murombo, again, allegedly disabled the trackers and drove to a bush near Hunyani Farm, where he offloaded and hid the copper.
Thereafter, it is also alleged, he drove the truck to Chegutu and dumped it at the 105-kilometre peg along the Harare-Bulawayo highway.
The following day, Biltrans discovered the truck was untraceable and made efforts to contact Murombo, whose phone number was no longer reachable.
The transport company then checked with GPS and discovered the empty truck in Chegutu.
A police report was lodged and investigations led to the recovery of the 30 690 kilogrammes copper sheets loot in a bush close to Hunyani Farm, Chinhoyi.
Murombo disappeared from his place of residence in Mabvuku, Harare and went on the run until he got arrested at Dema, Mashonaland East Province on May 7, 2022.
Copper worth US$719 750 was recovered.
Murombo appeared before Chinhoyi magistrate, Batsirai Madzingira, and was granted ZW$30 000 bail.
The matter was adjourned to May 26, 2022 for routine remand.