The duo, together with a third unknown accomplice who was still at large, allegedly threatened the complainant with arrest and seizure of the money if she refused to pay them.

Trisha Lenna Maunganidze is employed as a buyer by a local supermarket and was on her way to South Africa.

Honoured Ndleleni and Bernard Dzvene, both detective sergeants at Beitbridge Old Police Camp, pleaded not guilty to the charges when they appeared before resident magistrate Mr Kudakwashe Mhene yesterday.

They were remanded to March 23 on US$300 bail apiece and ordered to reside at their given addresses, report at Beitbridge Police Station every Friday and not to interfere with State witnesses.

Mr Wellington Muzenda of Muzenda and Partners represented Ndleleni and Dzvene.It is the State’s case that on an undisclosed date this month at Beitbridge Border Post, Maunganidze was aboard a haulage truck that was being driven by Charles Wide.

After the complainant had undergone all the Customs and Excise formalities, including scanning of the truck, the trio approached them and Ndleleni produced his police identification card.

He introduced himself as a detective attached to the Border Control Unit and he and his colleague wanted to conduct a further search of the truck.After conducting a thorough search of the truck, the trio found nothing amiss and allegedly told Maunganidze they had been looking for a firearm.

She reportedly offered Zimra officials to carry out another scan of the truck.The accused, the State says, continued with their search and found US$280 000 in the truck.

Ndleleni and his associates threatened the woman with arrest, saying she was carrying more cash than was allowed by law to cross the border to which she responded she needed the money to purchase stock for their shop, it is alleged.

They allegedly said they would seize the money unless she co-operated with them.It is alleged she offered them US$15 000 but they said it was too little.

The State says Maunganidze then said she would report to the police and at that point they accepted the US$15 000.She gave them the money but went on to report the matter to the police leading to Ndleleni and Dzvene’s arrest at the border post that same day.

The money was not recovered.