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Pretoria - Four employees of the Tshwane municipality were arrested in Pretoria on Friday on charges of theft, Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko said.
“This is the second leg of our investigations into an arrest we made last week. We arrested a Bulgarian national for illegally operating a scrap metal dealership and also for possession of suspected stolen scrap metal,” said Ramaloko.
“We traced the scrap metal to the city of Tshwane and other entities. Today we have arrested four suspects, employees of the city Tshwane, who have been apparently stealing scrap metal from this pound.”
The unsuspecting employees were nabbed at their workplace, a waste management centre west of Pretoria.
Fellow employees watched as the four were handcuffed and taken away in unmarked police vehicles.
Ramaloko said the syndicate was shipping the scrap metal to countries as far afield as India.
“We managed to intercept one consignment of the scrap metal belonging to the city (Tshwane) which was destined for India. This is not the last leg of the investigation.”
He said various entities that had their assets stolen will quantify the monetary value of their losses.
The items targeted by the syndicate include street lamp posts, billboards and huge municipal metal bins which are then chopped into pieces before export.
Ramaloko said the Bulgarian national appeared in the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court on Thursday and was granted R10 000 bail. - Sapa