Rustenburg - Five alleged vehicle theft syndicate members were arrested for motor vehicle fraud, robbery and intimidation in Wolmaransstad on Monday, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) in North West said.

"The syndicate allegedly approached second hand motor vehicle potential buyers at car dealerships and promised them better cash deals for similar vehicles. A test drive would then allegedly be arranged and thereafter, a meeting scheduled to seal the deal with the requested cash payment after which the suspects would allegedly take the money and get away," said Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso.

She said an investigation was registered following numerous cases being reported at the Mogwase police station outside Rustenburg, fitting the same modus operandi.

They allegedly defrauded people from different parts of the country, including from Klerksdorp, Potchefstroom, Johannesburg, Krugersdorp, Welkom, Ceres, Kimberly and Kuruman.

Rikhotso said investigations were conducted, leading to the arrest of the five men. A sixth suspect was already in prison for a different crime.

"During the arrest , items seized included 11 cellphones, R18,000, rounds of ammunition and several sim cards. The Priority Crime Specialised Investigations unit of the Hawks is already working on ensuring that all the assets acquired from the proceeds of crime get forfeited to the state," she said.

The suspects are due to appear at the Wolmaransstad Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

African News Agency