PICS: Two Zimbos arrested using SAPS vehicle to ferry stolen diesel
By Jonisayi Maromo | IOL |
Police in Mpumalanga are investigating how two Zimbabwean nationals ended up in possession of a South African Police Service (SAPS) vehicle, a Nissan NP300 single cab bakkie which was ferrying 500 litres of diesel believed to be stolen.
Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, spokesperson for the police in Mpumalanga said the vehicle registered with Limpopo SAPS was fitted with fake Gauteng registration when it was stopped in Mpumalanga.
“On Wednesday 20 July, 2022, at about 07.30am, members of the SAPS from Delmas were conducting patrol duties on the N12 Road when they noticed a suspicious white Nissan NP300 single cab bakkie with two occupants.
“The vehicle, which had Gauteng registration number plates, looked rather strange as it appeared to be heavily loaded with something and was covered with a black canvas,” Mohlala said.
The alert police officers stopped the vehicle and searched it.
“Surprisingly, when members removed the canvas they discovered that the back of the bakkie was in actual sense, converted into a diesel tank,” Mohlala said.
“As a result, two men aged 29 and 34 from the country of Zimbabwe were questioned in relation to the purchase of the diesel but failed to produce any proof. They were then detained and are facing charges of being in possession of suspected stolen diesel.
“The 29-year-old is also facing an additional charge of contravention of the Immigration Act as he reportedly does not possess legal documents of being in South Africa.”
The SAPS at Delmas has confiscated the about 500 litres of diesel, with an estimated value of about R13 800, which was being transported in the bakkie.
“To make matters worse, the members uncovered that the registration number plates displayed in the bakkie were incorrect hence the car was seized. In addition to that investigation thus far revealed that in fact the car belongs to the SAPS in Thohoyandou, Limpopo,” Mohlala said.
“This matter is still being investigated to find out as to how the vehicle landed in the hands of the two Zimbabwean nationals. More charges against the two are eminent and police cannot rule out the possibility of more arrests as the probe continues.”
Provincial commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has expressed “excitement” over the arrest.
“We have been saying all along that the calibre of the SAPS members that we have in the province are capable and skilled to do the work in an exceptional way hence the commendable results.
“We are thankful for the SAPS vehicle that was recovered and we are also adamant that there will be more clarity with regard to the police car,” Manamela said.