Three foreign nationals have been arrested and charged after they were allegedly found in possession of stolen copper worth millions of rand, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Monday.
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said the copper worth R6 million was in the back of a trailer container, which had been reported stolen in the Maydon Wharf, Durban area on August 16.
“The information at police’s disposal indicate that a driver, who is also a foreign national, picked up a truck from a terminal on Bremen Road in Bayhead, Durban on the afternoon of August 16,” Netshiunda said.
“The truck was later found abandoned on Sharkmesher Road in Bayhead, but the trailer and the container with copper were missing and the driver was nowhere to be found and the matter was reported to police,” he said.
Netshiunda said following an intelligence-driven operation, the trailer and its loot was recovered at a farm in Bishopstowe in Pietermaritzburg.
“Three foreign nationals were arrested and were charged for being in possession of suspected stolen property,” he said.
He said the trio are expected to appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
In in unrelated recent incident, an illegal scrapyard owner and four others were arrested with stolen copper valued at R2.3 million.
At the time, Netshiunda said just a few hours after Operation Shanela was launched, officers from the Economic Infrastructure Task Team gathered intelligence about copper cables stored in a truck, parked in an Isipingo warehouse.