NELSPRUIT – Police are making inroads in squeezing the space for criminals to operate in Mpumalanga Province. This follows an Intelligence driven operation which led to the arrest of three alleged hijackers, aged between 37 and 48 in the afternoon of Tuesday, 16 August 2022. The male suspects were reportedly found in possession of a hijacked truck as well as a consignment which was loaded in the truck shortly before it was hijacked in Waterval Boven earlier that day.
According to the information, on Tuesday, 16 August 2022 information surfaced about a stolen truck loaded with food products. This information was shared with a team of members from Tactical Air SA Tracking Company, K9 Unit from Lydenburg, Waterval Boven as well as Techo Security Company.
The truck was tracked down on the R36 Road in Badfontein near Lydenburg. It was spotted alongside the road next to a small shack with one male suspect who was immediately arrested on the spot. Upon closer inspection, the truck was open at the back and about 83 boxes of the load (with chicken meat inside) was already offloaded. Vigilant law enforcement officials spotted two other suspicious males who were hitchhiking close to the scene. Members approached the duo and upon searching them, members found a rifle in their possession, a balaclava as well as a mobile phone that was allegedly stolen from the truck driver during the hijacking incident earlier. The two suspects, of which one is an employee who works for the company that owns the truck, were arrested. The firearm will undergo ballistic testing to determine if it was used in the commission of crime elsewhere.
The suspects are due to appear at the Lydenburg Magistrate’s Court today, 18 August 2022 facing charges which include possession of unlicensed firearm with ammunition, possession of suspected stolen properties (cell phone, the truck and the goods). They could possibly be linked to the hijacking and more charges may be added against the trio as the investigation continues.
The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has reiterated the stunts to eradicate crime in the province. “We are indeed collaboratively intensifying our efforts to deal decisively with crime and the results are indisputable. We just plead with our communities to join us in numbers by providing us with information about criminal activities. We promise to do our part as evident by this arrest and many of such in the past” reassured the General.