Police in the Zambian city of Ndola have arrested five men in connection with the armed robbery of an unknown quantity of emeralds and an undisclosed amount of money from a mining company.
So far, at least 20kg of emeralds have been recovered and police are searching for three more suspects who are still on the run.
Copperbelt Police Commissioners Charity Katanga said the five are alleged to have broken into the premises of Continental Mining Africa where they subdued and tied up a security guard.
They then used iron bars to break the door of the strong-room where the emeralds are kept. They looted the store and got away with emeralds and cash.
However, two of the suspects who were arrested in the city of Ndola within hours of committing the crime led the police to the mastermind of the gang.
Police recovered and impounded two vehicles – a Toyota Corolla and a Toyota Landcruiser – that were used in the mine robbery.
Preliminary investigations have established that the gang used the Corolla as a get-away car. The Landcruiser was found with the load of stolen emeralds.