Two Ethiopian businessmen were robbed of about US$10 000 at gunpoint at Ginger Lilly Lodge in Bulawayo’s Northend suburb on Thursday.
The assailants who were driving a white unregistered BMW motor vehicle pounced on the unsuspecting men who were having a meeting at the lodge at around 10 pm.
Bulawayo Police Spokesperson, Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident adding that they have launched an investigation into the matter
“On the 11th of March around 22:30 hours a security guard also working as a receptionist was on duty at Ginger Lilly Lodge which is situated at at the corner of Fife Street and Selous Avenue,” said Inspector Ncube.
“A car hooted at the gate and the security guard went to attend to the person. At the gate, there was an unregistered white BMW motor vehicle and he let the car in thinking it could be a client. Once inside, two men armed with pistols jumped out the car and demanded to be led to room 4 and 5 where they said they wanted to see some Ethiopians who were booked into those rooms.”
Inspector Ncube said the guard was manhandled and forced marched to rooms 4 and 5.
Along the way, they try to force their way into room one but the occupants blocked them.
When they got to room 4, which is on the first floor, they found the two men having a meeting and they demanded cash from them.
“They then took two cell phones namely a gold Mobicel R6 and Nokia android cell phone, all black in colour.”
Inspector Ncube added, “One of the suspects then got out of the room leaving his accomplice holding hostage the two businessmen and the security guard and proceeded to room 5, where he used a fire extinguisher to break down the door. Inside, he found a woman and demanded money from her but she indicated that she did not have any.”
Inspector Ncube said the assailant then searched the room and took cash amounting to US$ 9 050 which was stashed inside a blue bag.
He then went back to room 4 land they force marched the security guard to the reception area.
While on the way they met another person who was rushing to check the source of the commotion. They pointed a gun at him, robbed him of his wallet which had about US$508 and some documents before locking him up in room 4 with the other victims.
At the reception area, the suspects stole three satellite television decoders and printer before driving off.
The security guard later made a report to the police.
Inspector Ncube urged companies, schools, hotels, and colleges to employ security personnel and have an alarm system.