39-year-old man arrested trying to smuggle Toyota Prado to Zimbabwe

CRIME

By Agreement Mabunda

POLOKWANE:*- In the early hours of March 15, 2024, an intelligence-driven operation led by the South African Police Service’s specialized Anti-Smuggling Unit resulted in the successful arrest of a 39-year-old suspect linked to a cross-border smuggling ring. Information was received about the male suspect driving a Toyota Prado allegedly hijacked in Randfontein, Gauteng heading towards Polokwane. The suspect was intercepted along the N1 South road next to the shell garage in the Westenburg policing area.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the vehicle was hijacked on 12 March 2024 and was meant to be smuggled into Zimbabwe through the Beitbrige border post.

It was further established that the suspect is already facing a similar charge after he was recently caught trying to smuggle a stolen motor vehicle into Mozambique through the Lembobo border post.

The Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, stated, “This arrest sends a strong message to individuals involved in smuggling and other forms of organized crime that the SAPS, along with its partners, remains vigilant and committed to upholding the law. We will continue to disrupt the operations of criminal networks that threaten the economic stability and security of our country.”

The suspect is currently in custody and is expected to appear before the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on March 18, 2024, facing charges of possession of a presumed stolen motor vehicle and possession of fraudulent documents. Further investigations are underway, and additional arrests have not been ruled out.

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