Home Crime Free State Hawks arrests alleged fuel theft ‘kingpin’

Free State Hawks arrests alleged fuel theft ‘kingpin’

by Thys Khiba
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By Thys Khiba – Free State Hawks with Bidvest Protea Coin Security have nabbed the suspected kingpin behind a syndicate targeting Transnet pipelines on Wednesday in Pretoria.

A 35-year-old faces charges including damage to essential property and theft faces charges including damage to essential property and theft, and is expected to appear in the Witbank Magistrate’s Court this morning.

Two suspects aged between 35 and 41 were arrested on Saturday, 16 October in connection with theft of fuel and tampering with the Transnet national pipeline in Vrede, Free State. 

The Hawks confirmed the two were arrested on delivering the stolen fuel in Kromdraai, Witbank. 

“The duo, Maruo Aurelia Langa (41) and Solly Khoza (35) appeared in the Vrede Magistrate’s Court yesterday and areexpected to be back in court on the 24 October 2022,” said Hawks spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase. 

Nkwalase confirmed the two were arrested by a multi-disciplinary team of the Hawks’ Non Ferrous Metals, Tactical Operations Management Section with Secunda and Middelburg based Serious Organised Crime Investigation assisted by Bidvest Protea Coin, Ekhuruleni District Operational Task Team, Badboyz Security and South African Revenue Services (SARS). 

This is after almost 8.5 million litres of fuel, valued at approximately R102 million, has been stolen from national Transnet pipes in the last year.

“A  total of 46 suspects were arrested in the last three months owing to the multi-disciplinary approach operations which prove to be a success. With the latest additional three arrests linked to this incident, a total 49 suspects have been arrested in the country,” said Nkwalase.



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