Local News

Fake cops kidnap couple in SA, smuggle them to Zimbabwe over $14m crypto coins

A Zimbabwean couple based in Pretoria, South Africa, was abducted by men claiming to be from Interpol before being smuggled into Zimbabwe in what prosecutors say was an attempt to steal US$13.9 million worth of cryptocurrency coins from them.

This emerged as Moses Nhachi Chademana, 60, was charged with kidnapping and impersonating a police officer at the Harare Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Chademana, who is known to police after once threatening to shoot the feared former CID law and order chief Crispen Makedenge in 2008, was denied bail by Harare magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa who remanded him in custody to June 23 awaiting trial.

Also Read: Minister Muchinguri, Sanyatwe to pay $30k to Chitungwiza man shot by soldiers

Appearing for the National Prosecuting Authority, Lancelot Mutsokoti alleged that on May 13 this year, Chademana teamed up with his accomplices Liam Evans and another identified as Sir Peter, and six other unidentified accomplices – all South Africans – to kidnap Shepherd Sikhosana and his wife, Sekayi Adelpha Sikhosana.

“The accused and his accomplices intended to benefit from complainants’ crypto coins valued at US$13.9 million which Liam Evans had recovered after they had been hacked by unknown hackers from their account,” Mutsokoti told the court.

Chademana’s accomplices comprising of five blacks and two whites allegedly confronted Shepherd Sikhosana who was at Liam Evans’ company known as Falcon Gold Digital Forensic and Crypto Recovery Services situated in Honeydew, Johannesburg, South Africa.

They introduced themselves as police officers from Interpol South Africa and interrogated him as to what business he had with Falcon Gold Digital Forensic and Crypto Recovery Services and he disclosed to them that he had engaged the company to recover his wife’s hacked crypto coins.

A cryptocurrency is a digital, encrypted, and decentralised medium of exchange. Unlike the US dollar or the rand, there is no central authority that manages and maintains the value of a cryptocurrency.

Instead, these tasks are broadly distributed among a cryptocurrency’s users via the internet.

Three of Chademana’s accomplices drove from Johannesburg to Sikhosana’s residence in Pretoria where they allegedly kidnapped his wife after lying that they were officers from Interpol South Africa.

The kidnappers told the couple that some Russian assassins were looking for them intending to kill them and that they were now taking them to Interpol Zimbabwe for further interviews.

“They drove the complainants from Honeydew, Johannesburg, in two separate vehicles to Beitbridge border post where the complainants were made to cross the border from South Africa to Zimbabwe without passing through the Immigration processes,” the prosecution says.

“The two complainants were then handed over to Chademana who was in the company of another unidentified male adult driving in a Grey Toyota Prado with unknown registration numbers at an Engen Service Station near the Beitbridge border post.”

Chademana and his accomplice introduced themselves as detectives from Interpol Harare, the court heard.

The two further confiscated the couple’s mobile phones before driving them to Harare where they booked them at Tropez Flats in Eastlea, it is alleged.

Chademana, says the prosecution, gave Sikhosana and his wife a stern warning not to make any attempt to flee or to switch on their phones as he alleged that they were being tracked by Russian assassins.

The couple’s relatives in South Africa searched for them at all local police stations but failed to locate or get any information on them and they made a report of kidnapping.

On May 19, 2024, Chademana’s accomplices in South Africa got information that an official report had been made with South African police and they contacted Sikhosana informing him about the report.

They instructed him to switch on his phone and to tell his relatives that they were in Zimbabwe and nothing was amiss.

Sikhosana used the opportunity in Chademana’s absence and notified one of his relatives about the kidnapping and went on to send their geographical location and supplied physical address.

Harare police were called and detectives rescued the couple and arrested Chademana.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button