Tomorrow, 02 September 2019, two suspects who are regarded as a syndicate according to the manner they operate, will appear before the Kabokweni Magistrate’s Court, facing a string charges of vehicle theft. Their arrest comes after an Intelligence Driven Operation which was conducted at Msogwaba near Nelspruit on 29 August 2019, led to the arrest of of two men age 31 and 34, suspected to be a part of a motor vehicle theft syndicate.
The operation was launched after police were looking for the 34 year old man, who was wanted in connection with vehicle theft. The search led them to Msogwaba where they found the suspect they were looking for in possession of a suspected stolen vehicle, with two bullet proof vests inside the vehicle. A further probe led to the arrest of his accomplice at Kabokweni, who was also found in possession of a suspected stolen vehicle too.
Whilst the police were detaining the duo, seven more victims came forward and reported that one of the suspects sold them stolen vehicles. He was reportedly running a scam where he would allegedly inform the victims that he buys repossessed vehicles and resells them.
One of the victims, a 44-year-old Traffic Officer, allegedly paid the suspect R68 000 for a vehicle and was told he would receive the registration papers at a later stage. After three weeks, he took his car in for service and later received a message from a dealer in Johannesburg informing him about service booking quotes which made him suspicious. He then took the vehicle to the Nelspruit Vehicle Identification Services (VIS) where they confirmed that the vehicle was indeed stolen and cloned.
Another victim, a police officer, was offered a vehicle valued at R55 000, for which he paid R40 000, cash and was told to fetch it at Protea Glen in Pretoria. The victim is alleged to have asked a police friend to accompany him to fetch the vehicle and he took it to VIS where it was confirmed that it had been stolen at Hillbrow, Gauteng. The other victims also narrated similar stories.
The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, once again warns members of the public to do a thorough background check before purchasing vehicles and any other valuable items.