BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
A CHINESE national and his two local accomplices were yesterday remanded in custody pending ruling on their bail application on allegations of attempting to bribe a police officer.
The accused, Mei Dong (31) of Credence Mining Corporation, Leegwan Mavhunga (36) and Velaphi Maposa (38) allegedly offered US$1 500 bribe to an investigating officer to destroy evidence in another matter involving Dong which is pending before the courts.
Dong is on bail on another case under CR 1823 04/21 in which he is being charged with fraud or alternatively obstructing or defeating the course of justice.
The State alleges that on May 12, 2021, Mavhunga called the investigating officer, only identified as Inspector Bota, and told him that he had been sent to talk about Dong’s case.
Mavhunga told the police officer that he had been sent by Dong to offer him money so that he destroys incriminating evidence against him and facilitate his removal from remand on the pending matter.
The investigating officer requested to speak with Dong over the phone to confirm what Mavhunga had told him.
Dong admitted that he was the one who sent Mavhunga.
The investigating officer notified his superiors about the matter, who decided to set a trap for Dong and his colleague.
On May 14, Mavhunga, who was with Dong, sent a message to the investigating officer informing him that he wanted to meet him in Hatfield and give him US$1 500 so that he destroys evidence in the fraud case, but the officer told them that he would meet them the following day.
On May 16, Mavhunga again called the investigating officer requesting to meet and give him the money and the officer opted to meet him in Mbare.
Mavhunga and Dong went to Mbare in a white Toyota Vanguard vehicle, registration number AEW7872, which was being driven by Maphosa.
Mavhunga gave the officer the money but he demanded to see Dong in person, before accepting the money.
Not knowing that it was a trap, Dong agreed to meet the officer and gave Mavhunga US$1 480 for him to hand over to the police officer who accepted it.
The three accused were arrested by a team of police officers who were monitoring the developments from afar.
The bribe money was recovered.
The State opposed bail for the trio arguing that there was overwhelming evidence against them.
The accused, through their lawyer Job Sikhala, filed their submissions in response to the State’s arguments yesterday. Lancelot Mutsokoti appeared for the State.