Armed robber nabbed over $1,8m heist


LOCAL police recently arrested an armed robbery suspect who robbed a Harare firm of  $1,8 million in 2018 before fleeing to his base in South Africa.

Christopher Asoni (43) who appeared before Harare magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka last week was remanded in custody and asked to apply for bail at the High Court.

He is alleged to have bought a Mercedes Benz, VW Golf GT1, Toyota Quantum, and nine heads of cattle from the loot.

Allegations are that on April 2, 2018, at about midnight, Asoni and 11 accomplices (already arrested) in the company of two others still on the run, armed themselves with unidentified pistols, metal bars and explosives and drove to PHl Commodities located at number 17 Foundry Road, Aspindale, Harare.

The gang scaled the precast wall and confronted two security guards, Cephas Kisimesi and Cephas Chiutawo who were manning the premises.

The accused persons reportedly assaulted the guards with metal bars, handcuffed them and tied their legs with shoe laces before robbing them of two cellphones, safety shoes, a black satchel, toiletries and two Zatec two-way communication radios.

They later forcibly opened the office complex and stole seven laptops and cash amounting to $1 799 960, which they loaded into their getaway vehicle and fled the scene.

On April 8, 2018, police gathered that soon after the robbery, Asoni and his accomplices went to  Chitsvatsva village, Chief Seke, where they shared the stolen money. Asoni then crossed the border into South Africa, only to sneak back into Zimbabwe on an unknown date. On June 8, 2023, he was spotted in Greendale, Harare, leading to his arrest.

The State opposed bail saying the accused was a flight risk, and an ex-convict who did time for armed robbery.

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