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Witness Takes The Stand In Trial For ABC Auctions’ $1 Million Armed Robbery

Witness Takes The Stand In Trial For ABC Auctions’ $1 Million Armed Robbery

The trial of two alleged armed robbers accused of stealing cash and jewelry worth over US$1.2 million from ABC Auctions continued today, featuring the State’s witness Mrs. Shylo Keth.

Phebion Nyuke and Osinege Zvomuya, residents of Matange Village, Chief Mutumba, Madziwa, are facing charges related to two counts of armed robbery.

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During her testimony, Mrs. Keth, the Finance Manager at ABC Auctions, informed the court that the stolen money was stored in three safes. She disclosed that the suspects resorted to using explosives to open the safes, which were securely locked. Mrs. Keth noted the distinct smell of explosives upon arriving at the crime scene.

She highlighted the adverse impact of the robbery on ABC Auctions, leading to layoffs as a consequence of losing funds primarily owed to creditors.

“We had to retrench some employees as a result of the incident.”

Under cross-examination by Nyuke’s lawyer, Joseph Nemaisa, Mrs. Keth acknowledged the absence of documentation proving the possession of jewelry before the robbery. When questioned about the evidence supporting the value of the stolen jewelry, Mrs. Keth stated that there was none, relying solely on her verbal account.

Nemaisa argued that, apart from Mrs. Keth’s testimony, there was no concrete evidence before the court substantiating the claimed amount of jewelry prior to the incident. He also challenged Mrs. Keth on her failure to quantify the number of stolen jewelry items and highlighted her formal statement to the police after the recovery of some pieces.

When Professor Lovemore Madhuku, representing Zvomuya, took over cross-examination, he questioned Mrs. Keth about the limited pieces of jewelry presented in court as exhibits, suggesting that the remaining items were still in the possession of the CID.

Madhuku further pressed Mrs. Keth on whether her presence in court was solely due to a robbery, not necessarily implicating the accused individuals in the dock, to which she affirmed.

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