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PICS: Hawks bust fuel theft syndicate, arrest an alleged kingpin

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The Hawks in Free State in conjuction with other law enforcement departments have bust a syndicate and arrested the alleged kingpin believed to be linked to fuel theft and damage to essential infrastructure.

A massive operation led by the Hawks led to the arrest of a so-called “kingpin” for his alleged involvement in the fuel theft syndicate.

The 35-year-old man was arrested in Pretoria on Wednesday by a multidisciplinary team led by the Free State Hawks, Bidvest Protea Coin Security, and the Gauteng Traffic Department Saturation Unit.

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The alleged kingpin is expected to appear in the Witbank Magistrate’s Court on Thursday and later in Vrede with two other suspects arrested on Saturday for allegedly stealing fuel and tampering with the Transnet national pipeline in Vrede, Free State.

They were detained after the stolen fuel was delivered in Kromdraai, Witbank.

Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase said the pair, Mauro Aurelia Langa, 41, and Solly Khoza, 35, appeared in the Vrede Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and were expected back in court on Monday.

Police seized the tanker with fuel which was involved in the Saturday incident.

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Nkwalase said almost 8.5 million litres of fuel, valued at approximately R102 million, had been stolen from national Transnet pipes in the last year.

“There are 46 suspects arrested in the last three months owing to the multidisciplinary approach operations which prove to be a working formula. Now with the additional three linked to this incident, we are sitting at a total of 49 suspects arrested in the country,” said Nkwalase.

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