Four suspected criminals, aged between 28 and 64, have been arrested as Limpopo police recovered three stolen vehicles at the Beitbridge port of entry which separates South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The three recovered vehicles are a Ford Ranger, an Audi Q7, and a Mercedes Benz Actros truck, according to Limpopo provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Malesela Ledwaba.
Police said the arrested four suspects consist of two South African nationals and two foreign nationals.
“The swift action of police officers stationed at the Beitbridge border post in Musina has resulted in the interception of three motor vehicles before they could be smuggled out of the country on Tuesday, February 6,” Ledwaba said.
“The suspects were arrested during separate incidents after they were stopped at the vehicle control point,” he said.
“Police discovered that the drivers of all three vehicles — a Ford Ranger with one passenger, Audi Q7, and Mercedes Benz Actros truck were in possession of fraudulent documents, and the VIN numbers (vehicle identification numbers) were also altered.”
A preliminary investigation by the police indicated that the vehicles were reported stolen in Gauteng province.
Meanwhile, acting provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Major General Jan Scheepers has saluted the police manning the Beitbridge border for their “vigilance and dedication”.
“This is a testimony to the ongoing efforts of the SA Police Service to clamp down on vehicle theft and cross-border crimes,” he said.
The four arrested suspects are on Thursday expected to appear before the Musina Magistrate’s Court, facing charges of possession of suspected stolen motor vehicles.
Last year, IOL reported that the regional court in Mokopane, in Limpopo, convicted and sentenced a 35-year-old South African man who was arrested for possession of a stolen motor vehicle, a silver Toyota Fortuner.
At the time, Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba said Shane Mthombeni was sentenced to six years of direct imprisonment, without the option to pay a fine.
“The court heard that the South African citizen, Shane Mthombeni was intercepted by police while driving a silver motor vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner at Nyl Toll Plaza along the N1 Highway on Monday, October 30,” Mashaba said.
Members of the Limpopo police’s provincial tracking team, in conjunction with a private security company operationalised information which had been gathered, and arrested the driver.