Cape Town - The Hawks on Wednesday arrested a 35-year-old alleged kingpin of a fuel theft syndicate which has been damaging Transnet’s key infrastructure to steal fuel worth over R100 million.
The Hawks said the damaged infrastructure was a national key point.
The alleged kingpin was arrested in Pretoria by the multidisciplinary team led by the Free State Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation team together with Bidvest Protea Coin Security and Gauteng Traffic Department Saturation Unit.
This follows further investigation into the arrest of two suspects aged between 35 and 41, who were arrested on Saturday for theft of fuel and tampering with the Transnet national pipeline in Vrede, Free State.
They were arrested while delivering the stolen fuel in Kromdraai, Witbank.
Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Philani Nkwalase said: “It is now in public domain that almost 8.5 million litres of fuel, valued at approximately R102 million, have been stolen from national Transnet pipes in 2021.”
He further said: “The duo, Mauro Aurelia Langa 41, a Mozambique national and Solly Khoza, 35, appeared in the Vrede Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday and are expected to be back in court on October 24.”
Nkwalase said the suspects were arrested by a multidisciplinary team comprising the Hawks’ Non Ferrous Metals, Tactical Operations Management Section with Secunda and Middelburg based Serious Organised Crime Investigation assisted by Bidvest Protea Coin, Ekurhuleni District Operational Task Team, Badboyz Security and South African Revenue Services.
Police seized the tanker with fuel which was involved in the Saturday incident.
The alleged kingpin is set to appear in the Witbank Magistrate’s court on Thursday and will later appear in Vrede with other suspects.