Arrest made in crackdown on vehicle theft syndicates smuggling cars via Zimbabwe The suspect and the recovered vehicle

Thupeyo Muleya-Beitbridge Bureau

AS the crackdown on syndicates stealing vehicles from South Africa and smuggling them via Zimbabwe en route to other countries in the Sadc region continues, Limpopo police said they arrested a South African man on Monday heading to the Beitbridge border post while driving a stolen vehicle.

The man (29) who was not named by police, is believed to be part of a large syndicates that operate between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Malasela Ledwaba said the man was arrested near Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane.

He said the suspect will soon appear in court charged with possession of stolen property.

Col Ledwaba said the police were not relenting in their quest to fight cross-border crimes.

“Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Limpopo have arrested a 29-year-old male suspect for possession of a suspected stolen motor vehicle that was allegedly en route to be smuggled out of the country through the Beitbridge border Post,” he said.

“Following on information and diligent investigative work, members of the provincial murder and robbery, tracking team working jointly with a private security company intercepted the vehicle at about 10 am next to Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane”.

 The vehicle, he said, had been stolen from Garsfontein in Gauteng at the weekend, and was allegedly set to be illegally exported out of South Africa.

The suspect was cornered along the N1 road and attempted to escape.

 Col Ledwaba said the operational team with assistance from the security company gave chase and the suspect was ultimately apprehended at Peter Mokaba stadium.

The vehicles are being stolen from car dealerships, and car rental services, and others are being stolen by insurance fraudsters.

They are then smuggled into Zimbabwe via the Beitbridge Border Post or the Limpopo River before being moved to Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania.

A fraction of the vehicles find their way to the Zimbabwean market.

Police in Zimbabwe and South Africa are arresting scores of vehicle smugglers monthly along the border.

X @tupeyo

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