Two severely burned suspects arrested for pipeline fuel theft in Mpumalanga
KENDAL - Two badly burned men are being treated in hospital under police guard after they were caught allegedly attempting to steal fuel from a pipeline at Kendal in Mpumalanga this week, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) in the province said on Saturday.
The two suspects, aged 28 and 39, were arrested by private Fidelity Security guards during the night of Thursday, January 21, at Kendal near Phola, Hawks Mpumalanga spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said in a statement.
"The pair were arrested after Transnet control room detected a fuel pressure drop on the pipeline. Authorities responded to the identified spot and apprehended one suspect who attempted to run away.
"He had fresh burn marks all over his body. There was a big fire in the maize field nearby and upon inspection they realised that the flames were from the burning Transnet pipeline," she said.
The Hawks’ serious organised crime investigation team and local police were summoned to the scene for further investigation. Following an intensive search a second suspect, who was also badly burned, was apprehended after he was found hiding under a bridge.
Emergency services were summoned and the two suspects were transported to hospital under police guard. All the exhibits which included a white Mazda bakkie, generator, and "pieces of charred clothes", were confiscated for further investigation.
The suspects were expected to appear in the Phola Magistrates' Court on Monday, January 25, to face charges of malicious damage to property, tampering with essential infrastructure, and theft of fuel, Sekgotodi said.
African News Agency (ANA)