Police on the Copperbelt have arrested five people in connection with the theft of emeralds and an undisclosed amount of money from Continental Mining Africa in Lufwanyama. The thieves, who were allegedly armed with iron bars, yesterday broke into a warehouse at Continental Africa Mine after beating up one of the security guards who was found at the premises.
Copperbelt commissioner of police Charity Katanga said police first arrested two suspects identified as Valen Bwalya, 29, and Reuben Mwansa, 36, of Ndola in connection with the theft. She said Bwalya and Mwansa were found in a Toyota Corolla, with three others, who managed to escape from the police.
“When interviewed, the two suspects revealed that the theft of the emeralds was an inside job,” she said. Mrs Katanga said later, police impounded a Land Cruiser laden with emeralds from the mine and arrested the owner of the vehicle identified as Ray Kasungulu, 45, of Luangwa Township in Kitwe, who was found at Parklands shopping centre.
She said two more suspects, including the mastermind of the theft, have been arrested in Ndola. Police have since recovered emeralds weighing 20 kilogrammes from the operation.