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Police investigate 10 people over 3 700 t lithium ore

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Police investigate 10 people over 3 700 t lithium ore


Garikai Mafirakureva

MASVINGO-Police in Masvingo is currently investigating ten people suspected to be members of the lithium ore smuggling syndicate. At least 3 700 tonnes of lithium ore allegedly looted from Bikita Minerals were recovered in Rhodene, Palace Green Investment, and Mhunga Garages in the Masvingo industrial area, where several haulage trucks laden with the lithium ore were parked after a Police bust.
Most of the ten are drivers, and they are Victor Mangwanya (58) of Palace Green Investment, Charles Chapu (46), Elvis Nyamunda, Maldwyn Tapiwa Joni (26) of Shereni Transport, Tapiwa Banhiwa (26) and Tendai Masawi (34) of Dreams Transport, Irimai Goche (40) of Neshto Trucks, Albert Manyenga (23) of Amour Shield Security, Frank Badza (65) and Raphios Ndabambi (61) of Palace Green Investments.
Masvingo Police spokesperson Inspector Kudakwashe Dewa confirmed the names to The Mirror. He said the lithium ore is suspected to have been looted from Bikita Minerals and other surrounding places. The ore found stashed at secret warehouses in the industrial area was ready for onward smuggling into Mozambique and South Africa.
A crack team led by ZRP Operations Assistant Commissioner Florence Marume nabbed the suspects following a tip-off from some residents early this month.
The heaps of looted ore at the secret warehouses have dates and grades marked with paint. The warehouses are currently guarded by armed police detail.

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