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Cross-border smuggling of vehicles, syndicate kingpin arrested, JHB

Gauteng Law Enforcement Agencies worked together to identify and arrest a man suspected to be behind the theft and hijacking of high-calibre vehicles that are taken to neighbouring countries.

The suspect was found with suspected stolen vehicles that include a Ford Ranger, Mercedes Benz C Class and a Toyota Fortuner GD-6.

On 2 February 2023, police received information that the suspect will be at one of the shopping malls in Johannesburg, where he usually operates.

A team comprising of members from the South African Police Service Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit in Soweto, SAPS Crime Intelligence, Gauteng Traffic Police Saturation Unit, Bad Boyz Security, Tracker Connect, Vision Tactical Security, Insurance Crime Burea, and Hollard Insurance were mobilised to intercept the suspect.

The team kept close observation and spotted the suspect arriving at a shopping mall, driving a Grey Mercedes Benz that he parked in the basement.

He then went to a White Ford Ranger that was also parked in the basement and drove off with it. It is then that the team pounced on the suspect as he was about to exit the mall. Preliminary investigation revealed that the Ford Ranger was robbed from the owner in Alexandra and that the Mercedes Benz was hijacked in the Moffatview area.

Further investigation led the team to the suspect’s place of residence where a white Toyota Fortuner that was tampered with, was recovered. Multiple vehicle registration documents and passports were also seized.

The suspect was arrested and charged with possession of suspected stolen/hijacked vehicles. He is expected to appear at the Roodepoort Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 6 February 2023. More suspects might be arrested pending further investigation.

Gauteng Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela applauded the team that worked so hard to locate and arrest the suspect. Lt Gen Mawela ordered the police to conduct a thorough investigation and profile the suspect as he might be part of a bigger syndicate.

SAPS Newsroom

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