Two directors of TICOZ Protection Services accused of supplying information that led to the ambush off two Savanna Tobacco Zimbabwe trucks carrying cigarettes worth over R5 million, will spend Christmas Holiday behind bars while the other director was freed.
Savanna Tobacco reportedly lost more than R18 million worth of cigarettes to organised armed robberies in South Africa, which the firm blamed on a private security firm, Forensic Security Services headed by Stephen Botha.
Botha is a former apartheid military supreme based in South Africa.
Tarwireyi Tirivavi (48) and Tinashe Dekeya (35) had their application for refusal of remand on Friday thrown out for lack of merit.
Harare magistrate Ms Anita Tshuma ruled that Tirivavi and Dekeya had a case to answer on three counts of conspiracy to commit robbery.
She remanded them in custody to January 4 next year.
The third suspect Hosea Manzunzu (46) had charges against him withdrawn before plea.
However, the State may proceed by way of summons if enough evidence against Manzunzu is found.
Tirivavi and Dekeya who were represented by Mr Shingi Mutumbwa of Mugabe and Mutumbwa law firm had challenged their placement on remand arguing that the alleged robbery was committed in South Africa and the court had no jurisdiction to deal with the case.
They also argued that facts submitted by the State did not constitute an offence.
But Ms Tshuma dismissed the duo’s application saying there was a nexus between the two and the robberies committed in South Africa.
“There is reasonable suspicion that the accused committed the offence although the offence is alleged to have been committed outside Zimbabwe,” Ms Tshuma said.
“The court has jurisdiction if the case has harm to the country,” said Ms Tshuma.
“The complainant is a company in Zimbabwe and it cannot be said the court has no jurisdiction.”
Ms Tshuma said the two had a case to answer and should be placed on remand.
Charges against the two arose sometime in April this year.
It is understood that Ticoz allegedly gathered information of cigarrete consignments from the indigenous companies being exported in the region and send information
to Forensic Security Services which is reportedly behind under cover operations and has spread its tentacles in the entire Sadc region.
Ambushes on the trucks would then be made based on informations given.
Source: The Herald Online – By: Peter Matambanadzo – Senior Reporter