By-A Harare businessman, and President Emerson Mnangagwa’s friend, Alex Elias Mashamhanda, has lost US$70 000 to robbers.
The US$70 000 was stolen from his Highglen business entity in Harare, and nine people have so been arrested in connection with the robbery.
Also known as Mashwede, Mashamhanda made headlines in November last year after he bought President Mnangagwa’s biography for US$755 000 and US$50 000 for the Zanu PF leader’s Scarf.
Of the nine suspects, four of them were arrested last week and have since appeared in court.
They are Daisy Chakauya (35), Aseni Masenda (26), Brighton Moyo (age not given) and Samantha Guzuzu (32) who appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Yeukai Dzuda.
They were all released on $50 000 bail.
Sources close to the investigations said the the other five who were employed as cashiers at Mashwede Holdings in the Highglen area were arrested yesterday and will appear in court this afternoon.
Police also believe that the suspects could have stolen more than the US$70 000 and they are now waiting for an audit report to ascertain the exact figure that was stolen as investigations on the case continue.
However, it is alleged that on July 20, detectives received a tip off that the suspects had formed a criminal syndicate and were allegedly stealing from their employer, Mashwede Holdings.
The information was that after sales had been made, the suspects would write their daily sales and, instead of capturing all the transactions, they would steal part of the US dollar cash.
They would then inflate or credit the amount stolen to swipe transaction values.
Acting on the tip off, police managed to arrest Masenda, who implicated Chakauya, who then implicated the other suspects.
Upon arrest, Chakauya led the police to the recovery of US$11 460, 60 x 750ml bottles of Jameson Whisky, 84 x 750ml bottles of Jäegermeister which had been obtained by the stolen money.
Masenda also allegedly led police to the recovery of US$1 000 cash stolen from the employer and several second-hand clothes also purchased using the stolen money for resale.
It is further alleged that in order to cover up for the offence, Moyo who was the accountant, after receiving the falsified transactions, would then obtain his proceeds from either Chakauya who was the manager and Guzuzu who was a cashier.
Investigations revealed that this has been going on since December last year and so far over US$70 000 was stolen. Only US$14 000 was recovered.
This is not the first time Mashwede Holdings employees have been arrested for stealing from their employer.