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Man sues police for R5m after being cleared in R25m copper cables theft

The National Prosecuting Authority has withdrawn charges against two men accused of stealing R25 million worth of Transnet copper cables. File Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee

The National Prosecuting Authority has withdrawn charges against two men accused of stealing R25 million worth of Transnet copper cables. File Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee

Published Nov 13, 2020

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Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has withdrawn charges against two men accused of stealing R25 million worth of Transnet copper cables.

Vivek Bharti and Bipin Kurian were arrested during a police raid on October 8 at the premises of Pioneer Metals in Alrode, Alberton.

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The two men later appeared in court where they were release on R100 000 bail each.

Sources close to the investigations have now informed The Star that the police may have arrested the accused in error.

On Thursday, the NPA, after considering the representations from the accused, instructed the immediate withdrawal of the criminal charges.

The Star has seen the representations which criticises the conduct of the police and the contractors. It turned out that the copper cable seized during the raid was bought at Transnet auctions by registered scrap dealers and sold to Pioneer.

The Star has seen invoices and statements as proof the copper cable was bought and paid for. It also appears the police did not disclose the invoices and other documentation that proves the cable was legally bought to the NPA when the matter was enrolled.

Sachin Ahuja, owner of Pioneer Metals, said that he personally gave the police all the necessary proof that the cables weren’t stolen but that the police had preconceived ideas.

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Ahuja is now claiming R5m from the police for his wrongful arrest.

“My lawyers will institute civil claims against the police and IPID. Hopefully the courts will protect my business because the police don’t,” he said.

The Star

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