By Nqobile Tshili
Two burglars raided Mukuru Send Money Home transfer agent offices in Bulawayo city centre and got away with more than US$17 000 and R100 000 in what is suspected to be an inside job.
The raid occurred at the agent offices at Zapalala Supermarket along Jason Moyo between 9th and 10th Avenue.
It is not clear what time the burglars broke into the shop but the raid was discovered when the money transfer agent employees reported for duty at about 6:45AM on Sunday.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abdenico Ncube confirmed the incident saying investigations were underway.
“We are investigating an unlawful entry and theft case which occurred at a retail shop on Sunday evening. I don’t have the total amount that was stolen off-hand but I understand that the money runs into thousands of US dollars and Rand.
“Investigations on the matter are ongoing. We also want to appeal to financial institutions that handle substantial amounts to employ reputable security companies to man their premises,” said Insp Ncube.
Mukuru Send Money Home manager only identified as Munashe declined to comment on the matter.
“The case is with the police who are still investigating what happened. For now, we don’t have a comment as we are waiting for the police to give us any further information,” said Munashe.
The supermarket which houses the money transfer agent is usually characterised by queues but yesterday there were only a few people visiting the shop.
Some were being turned away after being informed of the crime.
Sources said the security guard informed employees that burglars had used an unknown object to break into the supermarket and shop.
It is however, not clear where the security guard was when the crime was committed.
“They got away with US$17 140, R109 400 and $1 000. What we gather is that nothing else in the supermarket was stolen. The thieves went straight to where the Mukuru safe is located and it seems the suspects had knowledge of the security code to unlock the safe. The main safe was opened without any evidence of using force.
“The safe has four sections and from those, two were unlocked using a code only known by a few employees. The suspects only used force to open the other two compartments,” said a source close to the investigations.
The source said the burglars who were wearing face masks were captured on closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
Financial institutions handling mostly foreign currency have become targets for criminals.
Two week ago, six armed robbers raided Access Finance Bureau de Change, getting away with undisclosed amount of money at Parkade Centre.
The daring armed robbers disarmed a Safeguard security guard manning the Bureau de Change and even had the guts to attack the security company’s reaction team that had responded to the distress call and got away with the team’s vehicle which they later dumped in Malindela suburb. The Chronicle