Five police officers in court for US$15 000 extortion

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Five police officers in court for US$15 000 extortion

Yeukai Karengezeka 

Court Correspondent 

THE trial of five police officers, who allegedly demanded a bribe of US$15 000 from a company director in order to drop some fake rape charges against him, kicked off yesterday.

Lawson Muchongwe (34), Perseverance Chisango (31), Weston Muzorewa (36), Prosper Chimbumu (33) and Fredrick Moyo (34), who are being charged with criminal abuse of office, appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mr Taurai Manuwere, who deferred the trial to Friday when the State will lead evidence from the investigating officer and a lawyer.

The accused are represented by Mr Moffat Makuvatsine.

The complainant in the matter is Garth Graig Duplooy, who is a shareholder of Shartwaters Trading, a company which owns Garfunkel’s restaurant at Sam Levy’s Village in Borrowdale, Harare. 

Duplooy yesterday told the court that on September 19, 2023, he received a call from a NetOne line and the caller identified himself as a police officer stationed at ZRP Harare Central Police Intelligence Section. 

The caller told him that he was facing sexual abuse allegations and he requested to meet him.

Duplooy allegedly kept receiving numerous calls from the accused persons and decided to engage his lawyer, Mr Brighton Pabwe of Venturas and Samukange Legal Practitioners.

The court heard that on October 11, 2023, Duplooy and his lawyer met all the accused persons at Newlands Shopping Centre, who told them that they were investigating a sexual offence allegedly committed by Duplooy.

They allegedly demanded US$15 000 and promised to drop the allegations against Duplooy.

However, on the advice of his lawyer, Duplooy made a police report on October 12 against the five accused persons, leading to their arrest at Borelo Restaurant in Newlands, where they were caught demanding money from Duplooy.

During cross examination, Duplooy said none of the officers directly demanded money from him.

The issue of money was communicated to him by his lawyer Mr Pabwe.

Checks were made with Harare Central Police Investigations and it was established that no rape case was ever opened against Duplooy.

Records obtained from network service providers indicated that the sim cards used to contact the complainant belonged to one of the accused, Chisango.