Police bust car smuggling ring

Beitbridge - Police in Limpopo on Thursday said they had broken the back of a syndicate involved in smuggling cars across the border into neighbouring Zimbabwe after arresting five suspects and recovering four stolen vehicles, including a brand new SA government truck.

Police said the suspects were arrested after suspects were stopped from smuggling four vehicles to Zimbabwe on Wednesday evening.

File photo

“This syndicate was smuggling stolen motor vehicles from South Africa to Zimbabwe through the Limpopo river for some time until this special operation was established and conducted last night,” said police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoape.

Ngoape said the suspects aged between 31 and 40 are from Senwabarwana, Musina and Soshanguve were linked to the smuggling of vehicles.

Police said the recovered vehicles, one of them belonging to the SA government, were stolen in Gauteng.

The vehicles included a White Toyota Hilux single cab reported stolen early this month at Temba in Hammanskraal, a brand-new White Hyundai H1 truck, which was to be delivered at the Department of Public Works in Pretoria, and a Toyota Avanza, which was hijacked in Brooklyn in October 2015.

Police suspect that a silver BMW 7 series wanted for repossession by a bank over arrears of about R700 000 was about to be smuggled out the country when they found it.

The provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba has commended police for the arrests and recovery of the vehicles.

The suspects will be appearing before Musina Magistrate Court on Thursday on charges of possession of stolen motor vehicles.