Two suspects who thought they had hit the jackpot when they shot and robbed an illegal forex dealer of US$26,000 cash in Beitbridge were cornered and bashed by a mob leading to the death of one of the suspects and the theft of the loot in the chaos.
In a statement weekend, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi identified the suspects as Mirikia Pirikisi alias Henrik Nyathi, 38, and Arnold Mhosva, 29, now deceased.
The incident happened Wednesday last week.
The drama, according to police, started when the forex dealer was lured to a Total Service Station along the Beitbridge-Bulawayo highway through a phone call by one Leonard Huni.
Huni, who has not yet been arrested, claimed during the call he intended to exchange an equivalent of ZAR100,000 cash for US dollars.
The unsuspecting dealer was soon to be shot in the leg with a pistol before being robbed of US$26,000 and his Honda Fit vehicle.
When police swiftly reacted to the incident after being phoned by the complainant, they found the suspects surrounded by the mob.
“It was established the suspects were involved in a road traffic accident with the stolen vehicle before being apprehended and attacked with stones, logs, fists and feet by members of the public who went on to steal the complainant’s money during the commotion,” Nyathi said.
“The suspects sustained head injuries and were referred to Beitbridge District Hospital where Arnold Mhosva died upon admission.”
Nyathi said the arrest led to the recovery of the stolen vehicle, an MC 1911 pistol with an empty magazine, a pistol with five 9mm rounds of ammunition, an empty magazine and a 9mm spent cartridge.
The police spokesperson said further investigations revealed that Pirikisi was being sought in connection with escaping from Chikurubi Prison in November 2022, where he was serving six years for a case of robbery committed in Glen Norah, Harare in 2018.
“He was also being linked to a robbery case which occurred in Beitbridge in December 2017, in which an illegal forex dealer was robbed of ZAR 35 000, 900 Euros and US$500 cash.
“He is implicated in another robbery case which occurred in November 2022 in Highlands, Harare where cash and clothes were stolen.”
Police said they have since arrested one Jeremiah Hwati who was part of the mob that stole the dealer’s money.
Hwati implicated Kheda and Langton.
Police are keen to arrest other suspects including Leonard Huni.