At least five suspects have been arrested when they allegedly tried to leave Zimbabwe with at least $4m and 98kg of gold stashed in suitcases this week, a report says.
According to the state owned Chronicle newspaper, national police spokesperson Paul Nyathi has confirmed the arrests, saying the suspects were apprehended by police following a tip off.
Nyathi said the five suspects were believed to be illegally dealing in gold and were arrested at the leafy Harare suburb of Borrowdale.
According to the privately owned NewsDay, the cash and gold stock has been confiscated and had now been secured by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Fidelity Printers, as investigation continued.
Nyathi said the public would be kept updated on the progress of the investigations.
This came less than week after President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly revealed that his government has recovered at least $850m of externalised funds after a three months grace period ended.
The state owned Herald newspaper reported this week that Mnangagwa had told delegates at the 31st African Union summit in Mauritania that the amount of returned looted funds was now at $850m – a slight increase from the returned funds at end of the grace period.
Mnangagwa had announced the recovery plan for an estimated $1.4bn stolen by individuals and businesses after taking office last November.
The president said at the time that those who returned their illegally earned cash were going to be pardoned unconditionally. The amnesty period was set to run from December until March.
At the end of the grace period in March some $591m looted funds were returned, according to the Herald.