A CONGOLESE man suspected to be involved in a spate of aggravated robberies including cases of motor vehicle thefts has been shot dead by the anti-robbery squad in Mufulira while three other suspects are on the run.
Copperbelt Police Commissioner Peacewell Mweemba confirmed the incident which happened on Saturday around 06:00 hours in Olasho area within Mokambo on the Zambian side and identified the deceased as John Kayombo of unknown house number in Mokambo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) side.
Mr Mweemba said the suspect was shot dead by the anti-robbery squad after an exchange of fire in Mufulira.
“Mufulira has been hit by a spate of aggravated robbery cases in which taxi drivers were being booked and later attacked by armed criminals.
“The anti-robbery squad have intensified their operations following the spate of aggravated robberies. I can confirm that a suspected Congolese national has been shot dead in Mufulira in connection with a spate of aggravated robbery cases that were happening in the district,” Mr Mweemba said.
Mr Mweemba said some motor vehicles namely Toyota Sprinter registration number ADE 2409, property of Robert Banda, Toyota IST AFB 3574ZM property of Moses Tembo, Toyota Allion AFB 1742 property of Heartson Benzu, and a Toyota Corolla VVTI ALG 2145 property of William Banda, all residents of Mufulira had been stolen.
Mr Mweemba said Kayombo had been on the wanted list for a long time as he had eluded police.
He said Kayombo was involved in the theft of the Zambia Police Toyota Land Cruiser two years ago which was stolen from Lusaka whilst parked at Nyumbayanga Police, belonging to Service headquarters.
“On the material day the anti-robbery squad officers received information which led to the apprehension of two criminals on the wanted list identified as Mwansa Mwansabamba and Peter Chakaba both ex-convicts recently released from prison. After interrogation, the two admitted having participated in the four Mufulira aggravated robbery cases.
“They further revealed that the stolen vehicles were in Mokambo DRC, kept by their boss Kayombo and the two led police to Olasho area within Mokambo on the Zambian side, where they usually met Kayombo,” he said.
Mr Mweemba said the officers started off for Olasho at 04:00 hours using a Police Land Cruiser, to go and raid their houses and that as the officers approached the area they saw four people on a motor bike.
He said before they could stop them, they jumped off the motor bike and started firing at the police officers, who then also fired back injuring Kayombo who was identified by the two criminals.
He said the other three escaped.
He said an inquiry file had been opened on the shooting incident, and the motor bike kept as an exhibit.
He said Kayombo before dying admitted to have been keeping two of the stolen motor vehicles at his house in Mokambo, a Toyota IST registration number AFB 3574ZM and Toyota Sprinter ADE 2409.
He said Mokambo police were making contacts with their counterparts in the DRC for assistance to retrieve the stolen vehicles parked at Kayombo’s house.