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A SENIOR police officer is on the run while three of his colleagues have been arrested for mounting a series of illegal roadblocks after stealing a traffic offences ticket book, a court heard.

The four – all based at Tsholotsho Police Station – allegedly stole a Z69J book which is used to issue tickets for traffic crimes and mounted a series of unsanctioned roadblocks for four days two weeks ago.

Assistant Inspector Arthur Mbwembwe, who is on the run, is thought to have been the leader of the rogue cops that included three others who have since been apprehended. They are Sergeant Ephraim Sithole, 42, Constable Darlington Banda, 28, and Constable Davy Mlambo, whose age was not given.

The four are alleged to have mounted a series of roadblocks near Tsholotsho Business Centre between August 8 and 12 this year.
Sgt Sithole, Constables Banda and Mlambo yesterday appeared before Tsholotsho magistrate Abednico Ndebele charged with fraud.

They were not asked to plead and were remanded in custody to tomorrow for a ruling on their bail application. The State was initially opposed to bail but the investigating officer failed to turn up in court on two occasions yesterday and on Friday last week. Prosecutors ended up consenting to the granting of bail.

The amount of money the police officers raised from the illegal operation was not established.

Prosecuting, Liane Nkomo told how the three police officers, in the company of Asst Insp Mbwembwe who was their boss, connived to mount roadblocks near Tsholotsho Business Centre after fraudulently acquiring a Z69J book which is not available at ZRP Tsholotsho.

The quartet, the court heard, did not remit the spot fines after ticketing motorists but converted the money to their own use. The scam was unearthed when some receipts bearing their names were recovered from motorists, leading to their arrest.

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