Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has ordered the release by police of several men caught printing fake United States dollars after it emerged that his brother was involved.
According to Now Daily sources, two suspects were apprehended in Mnangagwa’s Mapanzure home village near Zvishavane in September after they allegedly broke into a shop. A search of their homes by the police led to the recovery of a large number of fake U.S. dollar notes, some of which were only half printed.
After savage beatings by the police, the suspects led investigators to a hill in Zvishavane, where a fake money printing machine was recovered, according to witnesses.
Under further interrogation, the suspects revealed that they were working with Mnanagagwa’s brother Brian, who was summoned to the police station by phone. On arrival, Brian Mnangagwa, a.k.a. Brian Sibanda phoned the justice minister, who reportedly railed at the cops and ordered his brother’s release. The cops complied.
Another member of the syndicate, a councillor also from Mnangagwa’s village, was later arrested after being caught with a sack full of forged U.S. dollars with a face value running into several hundred thousand dollars.
Last week, the police went around Zvishavane warning the public to be wary of the fake notes. A police spokesman said as much as $400 000 in forged $1 notes from the syndicate had recently gone on sale in Harare.