Monday, November 28, 2022

BDF officer wore disguise to trap alleged diamond dealer

A  Botswana Defence Force (BDF) soldier based in Francistown, Moabi Mponang, last week told court of how he disguised himself as a diamond buyer to arrest an alleged diamond dealer.

Giving evidence in a diamond deal case before Francistown Chief Magistrate Mokwadi Gabanagae, the officer said that on the 8th of December 2006, he was asked by the Francistown Police detectives to help them arrest a Francistown man, Mbusi Phatshwane, who was alleged to be in possession of 14 rough diamonds.

“The Police detectives told me that the accused was in Nzano Centre and was in possession of diamonds and I phoned him agreeing that we should meet at the shopping complex so that we can negotiate the price for me to buy the stones,” the court heard.

Mponang said that when he arrived at the shopping complex, the accused directed him to where he was and he called him to join him into his vehicle to discuss the deal.

He added that Phatshwane then produced a white plastic bag containing 14 stones. He further said that as they had planned with the Police detectives, he made a sign by hitting on top of the roof of the vehicle he was driving to alert them that the accused indeed was in possession of diamonds.

“Four detectives who were nearby came and Phatshwane threw the diamonds on the floor of the vehicle,” he said.

Mponang said that the detectives then arrested Phatshwane after they identified themselves.

After his arrest, the stones were taken to the Department of Geological Survey in Lobatse where they were tested and were found to be diamonds valued at P 2 005.

However, during cross examination, defense lawyer Owen Nsala of MCM Moseki Attorneys, lambasted the BDF officer, saying that he should not be trusted in his evidence as he gave contradicting statements in his written statements and oral evidence.

“The witness in his written statement┬á states that┬á the accused threw the diamonds on the seat of the vehicle while in his oral evidence he said the accused threw the diamonds on the floor of the vehicle, now which is which,” he asked?

The case continues as the prosecution is yet to call more witnesses.
The accused is currently on bail.

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