POLICE in Solwezi have arrested a Lebanese and four Zambians for allegedly stealing 23 bags of copper ore believed to be from Kansanshi Mine.
The five allegedly stole 23×25 kilogramme bags of copper ore and hired a
minibus to transport it from the town centre to Kyafukuma area.
North-Western Province Police Commissioner Eugene Sibote confirmed the arrests and identified the suspects as Ezidin Karim, 44, of plot 120
Stadium area, Justine Subakanya, 26, and Emmanuel Siku, 25, both of Kyafukuma area.
Karim is believed to be the mastermind of the alleged theft.
Others are Moses and Clive Bweupe, aged 18 and 23, respectively, of Kimasala area.
Mr Sibote said the five were spotted in a public service bus, registration
number ACT 812, on Muzabula-Kyafukuma Road after a tip from members of the public on Saturday around 15:00 hours.
He said police officers started trailing the vehicle and upon realising that they were being followed, the suspects abandoned the vehicle and ran into a bush.
Mr Sibote said the officers managed to tow the vehicle to the police station.
He said the Lebanese later phoned one of the officers to assist him in retrieving the bus.
Mr Sibote said the suspect offered the officer K1, 000.
He arranged that they meet where the officer could collect the money and that four people would be sent to retrieve the vehicle.
Mr Sibote said the police officer, in the company of Anti-Corruption Commission officers, went to the arranged place where Karim
gave him K500 and promised to pay the balance once the vehicle was released.
Mr Sibote said Karim, who is the proprietor of Anglo Mining Black Horse based in Kitwe, had since been charged with one count of theft of copper ore and attempting to bribe a public officer.
The other four who went to collect the vehicle were charged with theft of copper ore.
Times of Zambia