Chinese Businessman Kidnapped In Harare
20 April 2024
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By Crime and Courts, Reporter-Elleven Men have been arrested and appeared in court for kidnapping a Chinese business person in Harare.

The suspects also demanded a US$ 120,000 ransom from the Chinese businessman’s relatives.

Guo Zairen (34), Wang Gao (40), Primrose Miga (34), Charles Matondo (46), Tonderai Naison Kaja (34), Charles Notice (34), Christopher Chirombe (34), O’brian Miti (31), Simbarashe Kumba (24), Carlington Konselia (28) and Oswel Tinotenda Tsikai (29), were facing kidnapping charges when they appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Dennis Mangosi.

The State opposed bail, arguing the suspects could flee the court’s jurisdiction.

Investigating officer Detective Gentle Tapererwa said the 11 were not proper candidates for bail.

“Some of the accused persons exhibited signs that they are capable of fleeing if freed since they tried to escape from police officers,” he said.

Mr Mangosi deferred the matter to Monday for bail ruling.

The court heard that on April 17 at around 3pm, the suspects hatched a plan to kidnap the complainant and demand a ransom.

Acting in common purpose, five of the suspects and Tendai Notice, who is still at large, went to a Chinese restaurant in Belgravia driving a white Toyota Fortuner whose registration numbers are unknown, but was being driven by Guo.

They also had a Toyota Belta, whose registration number is also unknown, but was being driven by Tendai Notice.

The complainant, Cheng Song, was at the restaurant having lunch with his friend, Tu Muqing. Guo and Wang allegedly showed Kaja, Chirombe and Miti, the complainant who in-turn confronted him and introduced themselves as police officers.

The suspects then claimed that Cheng was under arrest, but did not notify him of his offence.

The court heard that the suspects handcuffed him and forced him into their Toyota Belta and drove away, leaving Tu Muqing behind.

The suspects took Cheng to House Number 1, Montenes Drive, Mandara, Harare, where Miga, Matondo, Kumba, Konselia and Tsikai were waiting for them.

Tu Muqing then phoned and informed Cheng’s cousin sister, Wang Yanan, that Cheng had been arrested by police officers.

Cheng sent his Google maps location to Wang Yanan, through a Chinese WeChat internet platform, seeking assistance from her.

Wang Yanan contacted Superintendent Victor Phiri of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and sought assistance to be escorted to the said police station.

It is alleged that Supt Phiri met with Wang Yanan and on checking the Google maps location, he discovered that it was showing a place in a bushy area adjacent to Chikurubi Maximum Prison and that there were no police stations closeby.

At that moment, Wang Yanan received a phone call on her WeChat platform from Cheng who told her that he was being held hostage by the suspects and that they were prohibiting him from using ordinary voice calls or the WhatsApp platform.

Cheng further told her that the suspects were demanding a ransom of US$120 000, which was to be delivered to them promptly to ensure he was not going to be harmed by them, and eventually be deported.

It is alleged that after about 15 minutes, the suspects used Cheng’s cell phone and contacted Wang Yanan and ordered her to drive to the Google maps location.

Supt Phiri alerted CID Homicide Harare of the kidnapping and extortion and they swiftly reacted and waylaid the suspects at the given Google maps location.

Charles Notice, Chirombe, Konselia and Tsikai arrived driving a Toyota Fortuner, registration number AEN 4346, and ordered Wang Yanan to follow their vehicle and they drove off at high speed.

Police detectives followed the suspects’ vehicle and drove along Arcturus Road, Greendale, and identified themselves as police detectives, before ordering them to pullover.

It is the State’s case that the suspects increased the speed of their vehicle in an effort to evade arrest, prompting police officers to fire warning shots, but they continued driving at high speed.

This resulted in the police officers firing towards the vehicle, leading to the driver losing control and plunging into a ditch. They were then arrested.

The court heard that the suspects led the police to House Number 1, Montenes Drive in Mandara where they found Cheng being guarded by some of the suspects.

He was then rescued by the police.