Durban – Magma Security said they arrested 15 suspects for the alleged possession of several kilograms of stolen copper blister on Monday.
Magma Security said that the theft of the copper took place in January this year from a Transnet freight train.
Shaheen Suleiman, owner of Magma Security, said that on Monday members were patrolling the Swartkop Forest in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands when they saw a bakkie parked in the forest.
“The members approached the vehicle and the occupants informed them that they were waiting for women who were collecting firewood. The members became suspicious of these occupants and decided to keep observation.”
Suleiman added that they parked a distance away and entered the forest on foot where they came across 12 men in the forest loading copper blisters, with an estimated weight of about 600kg onto a trailer.
“The Magma officers immediately detained the suspects and called for assistance. A second Magma vehicle proceeded to the bakkie which had three occupants. All fifteen suspects were detained, and the SAPS were informed.
“It was established that the copper blister was stolen during January from a Transnet train.“
Suleiman said that during January 2022, a Transnet train that was transporting copper blisters was targeted in the Estcourt area.
“The suspects stopped the train by tampering with the railway signals. During this theft, suspects were throwing copper blisters from the train. Only when the train reached its destination in Howick was the theft discovered.”
Suleiman added that the 15 suspects were detained at Prestbury SAPS and the vehicles were impounded at Pietermaritzburg VSS.
Police spokesperson Constable Thenjiswa Ngcobo confirmed the incident took place. “The suspects appeared in court yesterday.”