By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Police in Chingola have arrested two Chinese nationals together with a Zambian in connection with 38 stolen copper cathodes and 2 burners used to burn oil all valued K1, 61500,000.
Copperbelt Police Commanding Office Peacewell Mweemba identified the suspects as Guo Hetian 49, Zheng yunyian 32, and Peter Kapembwa a Zambian.
Mr Mweemba said that two more suspects namely Richard Chilebela and Singogo are still at large.
He said that three security guards namely, James Malama 31, Simeon Mwela 44 and Aaron Yamba yamba 38 all of Kasompe were on duty at a named company and around 01:00 hours a group of unknown criminals entered the company premises and attacked them.
Mr Mweemba said the guards were tied up on the hands and legs using ropes and from there they broke into a container were copper blisters were kept and stole 11 copper blisters which were later loaded in unknown type of motor vehicle which was parked outside.
He said the security guards managed to untie themselves and went and reported the matter to the police.
“Police officers were dispatched to the scene of crime and found that criminals damaged the lock to the container, and two iron bars were also found at the scene. However, none of the guards was injured. Thus, all three guards were detained to assist with investigations as the matter looks more to be an inside job,” he said.
Mr Mweemba said on January 12, 2023 at 11:00 hours, Police received information that Japhat Silungwe 33 of Mikiloni Township Chingola, bought the said copper which was stolen from the said company.
He said Japhet was summoned to the Police and revealed that he was phoned by Peter Kapambwa 32, of Chiwempala who was with two of his colleagues only known as Richard Chilebela and Singogo and they told him that they had 37 copper cathodes which they were selling at K250, 000.
“However, at the time, he didn’t have the money and instead, he lent them K25, 000 and took them to Ling long investment company where the copper was sold at K250, 000 and they were paid a down payment of K160, 000 which was given to the two gentlemen and later gave him back the money he lent to them.
“He led to the arrest of Peter Kapambwe who after some interrogations revealed that he worked with Richard and Singogo to steal and that they had agreed with the guards at the said company the weekend of Christmas and the guards were paid K15, 000 to allow them to steal the copper cathodes,” he said.
Mr Mweemba said Peter Kapembwa and Josphat Silungwe led the police to Tinglong investment Ltd located in Gykhana Chingola owned by Xuan Tinglong 47 Chinese national, where 38 copper cathodes were recovered and they were found buried under the ground.
He said when the Police went for recoveries, they found officers attached to Zesco conducting a search and they also recovered some cables suspected to have been stolen from Zesco.
The 38 copper carthodes that was stolen were identified by CCM mine as their property.