By James Muonwa
A gang of armed robbers masquerading as state security agents is on the prowl using fake search warrants purportedly signed by Commander of the Defence Forces Valerio Sibanda to enter premises before pouncing on the unsuspecting victims.
They then strip cash and other valuable properties from the victims.
The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) public relations director, Lieutenant Colonel Alphios Makotore Tuesday issued a statement warning to the public on the dangerous criminals who are on the loose.
“The ZNA would like to alert members of the public that a gang of armed robbers is on the prowl in Mashonaland West province. The robbers are using the name of the ZNA and Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to dupe unsuspecting victims of their valuable properties,” he said.
“They gain access into private premises upon production of fake search warrants,” said Makotore.
The armed gang consists of between four and six members dressed in ZNA camouflage uniforms while others will be in civilian clothes and pose as police officers from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
Makotore said the armed robbers also produce counterfeit search warrants before pouncing on their victims.
“Whilst the victim is still in a state of panic they then confiscate goods and other valuables.”
The ZNA spokesperson added; “The fake warrants are purportedly signed by Commander Defence Forces claiming that the bearer has authority to search premises or individuals and seize any articles which may lead to acts of terrorism.”
The bogus soldiers and cops have reportedly committed crimes in Chinhoyi, Chegutu, Kadoma, Christon Bank and Mazowe using the same modus operandi.
ZNA reiterated the organisation was wary of the criminal elements out to soil its reputation and appealed for information that may lead to their immediate arrest.
“The ZNA would like to categorically state that it is not conducting any such operations and all those purporting to be representing the organisation in such acts are criminals.
“The fake search warrants have been recovered and are being used by the police as exhibits,” Makotore said.