Policemen with some of the stolen cosmetics that were being offloaded at a warehouse in Northdale, Pietermaritzburg. Photo: Shan Pillay

Durban - Police have recovered an estimated R3 million worth of stolen cosmetics and arrested 10 men for their alleged part in the false hijacking of a truck in Cato Ridge.

Spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said police had been investigating a July 8 hijacking when they received information about the suspicious offloading of a truck in the Northdale area.

“Upon arrival at the warehouse in Northdale, police found 10 suspects unloading the goods, which were found to be cosmetic products,” Zwane said.

When police questioned them about the goods, they allegedly failed to explain how they came to be in the warehouse or where they were to be distributed. All 10 men, including two Ethiopian nationals, were arrested.

Zwane said that after further investigations, police established that all the cosmetics were taken from the truck that had been falsely reported hijacked in Cato Ridge.

During the investigations, police also recovered five vehicles including an Iveco, VW Golf and a Mercedes-Benz, all suspected to have been used during the commission of other crimes in the province.

“The goods from the allegedly hijacked truck were off-loaded at the warehouse and later a false case was opened at the Camperdown police station. The driver who reported the false hijacking is still at large,” Zwane said.

The suspects, aged between 19 and 59, face charges of truck-jacking and possession of property suspected of being stolen. They were due to appear in the Camperdown Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, commended the Camperdown police for working around the clock to trace the suspects.

“We will act harshly against those who report false cases and waste our valuable time and resources,” she said.

“We also thank the public who gave information that led to the arrests and recovery of the goods.”

Daily News