Police dismantle crime syndicates and recover stolen vehicles and illicit cigarettes

LIMPOPO- The relentless efforts by members of the South African Police Service in Limpopo in their endeavour to fight any form of criminality across the Province, continue to yield positive and meaningful results.

This became evident by the major breakthrough made during separate operations conducted in the Vhembe, Waterberg, Sekhukhune and Capricorn Districts by the Crime Intelligence Unit, the SAPS Limpopo Highway Patrol Team (LHP), the SAPS Provincial Specific Crime Investigations Unit, Mankweng and Seshego Detectives.

Twenty (20) suspects aged between 23 and 46 were arrested for burglaries, business robberies, possession of suspected stolen vehicles, possession of drugs, possession of unlicensed firearms, possession and dealing in Illicit cigarettes, possession of explosives and recovered seven (07) suspected stolen motor vehicles, 287 cartoons of illicit cigarettes, cash amount of money, two (02) firearms and ammunition, four (04) cell phones and three (03) knives.

Last night, on Tuesday 10 October 2020, the Intelligence led Joint operation comprising of the SAPS Seshego and Mankweng Detectives with the Crime Intelligence Unit, arrested five (05) suspects aged between 24 and 39 in Seshego township and Mmotong village. The suspects were arrested for a series of business robberies where they were allegedly terrorising the spaza shops in the Seshego and Mankweng Policing areas for some time.

The preliminary Police investigations have revealed that one of the arrested suspects aged 27 was on bail for kidnapping, rape and common robbery which he allegedly committed during 2017. The second one aged 31, was on bail for possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition, theft and murder which he allegedly committed in the Ritavi Policing area during March 2019. The other suspect aged 28 was on bail for possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition which he allegedly committed during January 2020 in Seshego. The other suspects are still being profiled and all these suspects may still be linked to more similar cases.

The Police recovered the following items during this operation in Mankweng and Seshego: one (01) firearm with five (05) ammunition and a VW Polo which was found to be hijacked in the Mhala Policing area under the Mpumalanga Province in September 2020 and it was using false GP registration numbers. Bank cards, flash machine, one toy gun and clothing were also confiscated.

Two other motor vehicles reported stolen in the Gauteng province were recovered in the Makuya Policing area outside Thohoyandou under the Vhembe District after car chase with the Detectives. The police in Mankweng also recovered a hijacked vehicle found abandoned in the Polokwane policing area after a long car chase with the members. The suspects managed to evade the arrest.

Meanwhile, the SAPS Limpopo Highway Patrol Team (LHP), arrested eight (08) suspects aged between 23 and 38 for possession and dealing in illicit cigarettes and recovered an unlicensed firearm,  during intensive patrol operation in the Dennilton Policing area outside Groblersdal. Police recovered 109 cartons of illicit cigarettes. The suspect was arrested on the spot and during the arrest, he tried to bribe the police with R500 cash, and a bribery charge was also added to his offences.

In the Villa Nora Policing area outside Lephalale, two (02) suspects were also arrested by the LHP. They recovered hundred (100) cartons of illicit cigarettes and in the Masemola Policing area outside Lebowakgomo, two suspected stolen motor vehicles were  recovered after they were found abandoned separately in the bushes along the R579 road. They searched them and found one (01) unlicensed firearm, three (03) knives and four (04) cell phones were confiscated.

Lastly, four suspects were arrested in the City of Polokwane for possession of explosives. Police stopped the vehicle and during the search, they found several detonating explosives believed to be the ones used to blast ATMs, hidden inside the vehicle. Three men and one woman were arrested.

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba has applauded these Teams of operational members for their continuous commitment in the fight against criminal activities across the Province.

The arrested suspects will soon appear before various magistrate courts.

The police investigations in all the cases are still continuing.