A Harare woman has been arrested for being part of three suspects, two of them foreigners, believed to be part of a vehicle smuggling and carjacking syndicate operating in the Sadc region.
The three suspects were recently arrested in Mainway Meadows in southern Harare after they were found in possession of two cars — a Range Rover Evoque (registration number HZ 33CN GP) and a Toyota Fortuner (JH 81 HR GP), worth a combined R1 million.
The vehicles are suspected to have been stolen in Namibia before being smuggled to South Africa and then Zimbabwe.
It is believed the suspects wanted to eventually smuggle the two cars into Zambia.
The suspects are a South African, Mpswati Obed Lucar (33), a Zimbabwean living in South Africa Brian Mabika (29) and a Zambian identified as SA Kalengo (36).
Police said Sikholisiwe Zondo (27) of Hatfield, Harare, is Brian Mabika’s wife.
It is alleged that sometime in May, Zondo went to C.E car rental in Namibia on the pretext that she wanted to hire the Toyota Fortuner which she promised to bring back.
She then drove the vehicle to South Africa while in the company of the three suspects where they tampered with the chassis numbers and fixed a fake registration number plate.
Investigations carried out by detectives from the CID Vehicle Theft Squad led to the arrest of Zondo.
Investigations revealed that the trio were allegedly part of a syndicate that had been robbing people of vehicles in the region before smuggling them to other countries for resale using fake documents.
The trio was arrested on Tuesday following a tip off and they are still in custody as investigations continue.
Detectives from the CID Vehicle Theft Squad received information that two vehicles were parked at a house in Mainway Meadows. When they arrived at the house, they found the two vehicles and the suspects whom they questioned but they failed to give a satisfactory answer, leading to their arrest.
Both the engine and chassis numbers were tampered with and police have since engaged Interpol to assist with investigations.
Meanwhile, police have arrested three suspected car thieves on allegations of stealing a Toyota Allion (AEM 2773) in Donview Park, Harare while it was parked during the night.
The three are Takudzwa Chuma (25) of Westlea, Johanne Mungawa (43) and Sheunesu Chuma (27) all of Epworth were arrested while intending to sell the car at a car sale along Robert Mugabe Way in Rhodesville area.
Police said the complainant parked his vehicle at his house and discovered the following morning that it was missing.
A report was made to the police and the complainant also informed his brother who is a policeman about the incident.
The brother carried out investigations and discovered that the vehicle was at the car sale, leading to the arrest of the suspects and recovering of the vehicle.
Investigations also revealed that the suspects had acquired a fake registration book for the vehicle.