A police officer has spent one week at Mzuzu Prison on suspicion that he was among the masterminds of the robbery of nearly K412 million (US$1 million) at Standard Bank Mzuzu Branch two weeks ago.
Ken Kamwambi, 38, based at Police Mobile Services (PMS) B Company Division in Limbe, was arrested on September 4 when he was cornered at Chitipi, Lilongwe by general-duties officers on patrol.
National Police spokesperson Rhoda Manjolo also confirmed that a police officer was arrested in connection with the robbery.
When asked yesterday, Mwasangwale said: “It is true we are keeping a police officer at Mzuzu Prison and was committed into our hands in connection to bank robbery.”
Kamwambi was reportedly spotted in Mzuzu drinking with his former squad-mates on the day of the robbery.
However, a police detective who did not want to be named said Kamwambi came under investigation when a T-shirt similar to the one he was wearing on the fateful day was found in a car used by the robbers.
In a scene plucked from crime films, men in black suits allegedly stormed the Standard Bank Mzuzu branch manager’s house around 6pm and forced him to drive them to the bank where they stole K412 million an hour later.
On her part, Manjolo said: “It is true that investigations into the Mzuzu bank robbery have led to the arrest of one of the police officers. He was arrested on September 4 at Chitipi along the Lilongwe- Mchinji Road and is still on remand at Mzuzu Police Station.”
She said on the day of his arrest, the officer was stopped at Namitete Roadblock in Lilongwe by police officers whom he told he was a police officer. However, when he was asked to produce his identity card, he sped off.
“This created suspicion among the officers who reported the matter and more roadblocks were mounted. He was then caught, but the other person escaped,” said the police spokesperson.
A police search of the vehicle recovered one live ammunition, hammers, pangas and a bunch of vehicle keys, according to Manjolo.
The robbery also led to the arrest of some Mzuzu Standard Bank employees, including deputy branch manager Willy Kaluwa, asset and ATM custodian Charles Moffat, customer information consultants Robert Mwafulirwa and Mbachi Nyirongo.
Amos Jere from the private security firm guarding the premises was also arrested.
Moffat and Jere are still on remand while the rest were released on bail.