Limpopo police arrested a 34-year-old man for possession of a suspected stolen motor vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner sport utility vehicle which was reported stolen in Gauteng.
The man who was nabbed near the Beitbridge border post on Monday, is also linked to a vehicle smuggling syndicate operating between Gauteng and Limpopo.
Provincial police spokesperson in Limpopo, Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba said different units of the SA Police Service as well as private security companies received information about the suspect driving on the Berghenk Road, smuggling a vehicle from Gauteng to Zimbabwe through Beitbridge border post.
“An operation was activated, and the team spotted the described Toyota Fortuner 2.8. They tried to stop it, but the driver sped off,” said Mashaba.
A high-speed chase ensued from the Kuschke Agriculture School until the Toyota Fortuner came to a stop along the R101 Road.
“The suspect was immediately arrested for possession of suspected stolen motor vehicle, driving without a valid driving licence, and it was also established that he is in the country illegally,” said Mashaba.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that the vehicle was reported stolen at Garsfontein, in Pretoria on Saturday.
“The same suspect, on the October 14, smuggled a Toyota Hilux Legend 50 to Zimbabwe,” Mashaba said.
Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of SAPS in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has commended the law enforcement teams involved “for moving swiftly” to arrest the 34-year-old.
Hadebe has also directed the law enforcement teams probe the modus operandi in order to prevent the same incidents from happening in the province.
The arrested 34-year-old man is expected to appear before Polokwane Magistrate’s Court, facing charges relating to breach of immigration laws, possession of suspected stolen motor vehicle and driving a motor vehicle without valid driving licence.
Police said the ongoing investigations might link the suspect to similar cases of vehicle theft and smuggling.