FIVE suspected criminals, among them a woman, have been shot dead after they attempted to escape from police officers.
The incident happened in Chisamba on Tuesday around 21:00 hours, after the suspects attempted to escape from a police vehicle which was ferrying them to Lusaka.
They were apprehended in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Copperbelt for theft of motor vehicles.
According to Lusaka police commissioner Joyce Kasosa, DRC officers arrested the three suspected criminals who allegedly stole two Toyota Hilux vehicles in Lusaka and fled to the neighbouring country.
The three were handed over to the Zambian police at Kasumbalesa border post on Monday together with the two Toyota Hilux vehicles that were recovered.
It was believed that the two vehicles, registration number ABK 8092 belongs to the National Savings and Credit Bank (NATSAVE ), and COM 208 CD belonging to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
Other items recovered included a pistol and a laptop believed to have been stolen from a Chinese national in Chamba Valley in Lusaka.
“If you recall two weeks ago we had an aggravated robbery and murder involving two NATSAVE officers, Francis Banda and Martin Ngoma in Chilanga. The criminals went away with a Toyota Hilux, it is one of these vehicles that was recovered by police officers in DRC,” Ms Kasosa said.
After the suspected criminals were handed over to the police officers at Kasumbalesa, they proceeded to the Copperbelt where they had other operations which led to the arrest of two more criminals and recovery of two more unregistered vehicles, a Toyota Corolla and a Toyota FunCargo.
On their way to Lusaka around Chisamba area, police officers spotted a Toyota Corolla in which there were other suspected criminals who opened fire at the police vehicle carrying the five suspects.
The police fired back at those in the Toyota corolla which later sped off.
Amidst the confusion the five suspected criminals attempted to escape from the police officers but they were gunned down.
Ms Kasosa named the five criminals as Kennedy Masensela, Simon Zimba, Joesph Kanko, Tony Mutondo, and Mercy Mutale Kasonde.
She said Masensela and Zimba were pardoned during last year’s Independence Day celebrations while serving other aggravated robbery cases.
Meanwhile, some criminals in Lusaka have got away with KR12,900 from a Mr Mubanga who they were trailing after he made a withdrawal from Stanbic Bank at Arcades shopping mall.
The criminals, driving a Toyota Corolla with an unknown registration, trailed Mr Mubanga and caught up with him along Manchinchi road, where they fired in the air, opened his car using an axe and later got away with the money.
“Two empty cartridges from an AK47 rifle were found on the scene and an axe. It is believed that the robbery happened right at Manda Hill Police Post, but I am yet to get the full details,” Ms Kasosa said.
In Kabwe a man has been brutally murdered and his body dumped in Lukanga swamps.
Deputy Central Province commissioner of police Edwin Bwanga confirmed the incident in Kabwe yesterday, saying the body had multiple bruises indicating foul play.
Mr Bwanga said the victim was identified as George Katongo, whose body was found floating by people fishing in the swamps and reported the matter to the police.
He said one person from Misisi Township from Lusaka had since been apprehended to assist with investigations.
Mr Bwanga said police were trying to establish the motive behind the killing.
And ZANIS reports that a 70-year-old man of Chililabombwe has been arrested for allegedly defiling a 14-year-old girl he enticed with a KR1.
According to Police sources, Damson Gondwe was arrested after the mother of the minor reported the case upon discovering that her child was defiled.
Gondwe allegedly dragged the girl into his house in PP Zambia Township and had carnal knowledge of her after giving her the KR1 to conceal the ordeal.
The accused offered the family KR100 to close the matter but they declined and reported it to the police.