Seventeen Zimbabwean police officers have been arrested on charges of corruption and trading in diamonds while guarding a mine in the country's eastern district, police said Tuesday.
Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka said three of the suspects were found with 30 diamonds when they were arrested last Saturday.
The other 14 had on them cash ranging from 144,000 Zimbabwe dollars (4,800 US dollars) to 45.6 million Zimbabwe dollars which they could not account for.
"The Zimbabwe Republic Police wishes to confirm the arrest of 17 police officers on suspicion of having illegally dealt in diamonds or alternatively engaging in corrupt activities at Chiadzwa diamond site in Manicaland," Mandipaka told the state-run Herald.
"The offences were committed during their tour of duty and the members who chose the criminal path were arrested on September 15," he said.
As well as facing disciplinary hearings, the "errant members" would appear in court to answer criminal charges, said Mandipaka.
According to central bank governor Gideon Gono, Zimbabwe is losing 40-50 million US dollars every week through the smuggling of precious minerals.
Last Mod: 18 Eylül 2007, 17:41