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Stolen copper worth R6m destined for China recovered in Durban

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Copper sheets with a street value of more than R6m that were destined for China were recovered on Friday after being stolen from the Durban port earlier this week.

This follows a combined operation involving Mi7 National Group, police and Matrix Vehicle Tracking.

Mi7 strategic threat response unit members received information from Matrix on the last known location of a shipping container carrying copper.

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Three suspects found in possession of the high-value metal were arrested in the Bishopstowe area outside Pietermaritzburg.

“The container was being carried on a truck trailer equipped with a tracking device. This information led Mi7 team members to the Eastwood area in Pietermaritzburg, but nothing was found there,” said Mi7.

Read | Two suspects nabbed while offloading copper from hijacked truck in Ratanda

It said the surveillance net — an intricate network of surveillance systems equipped with automatic number plate recognition software — was relied on to search for the trailer.

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“The system was able to track the stolen trailer, with the shipping container still fixed, to the Bishopstowe area.”

Mi7 and Matrix teams combed the area but nothing was found. The information was handed to a network of Mi7 informants in the area, who worked around the clock to ascertain where the stolen items were being kept.

“Eventually, there was a breakthrough. An informant was able to pinpoint a warehouse in Bishopstowe where suspects were attempting to remove the copper from inside the container,” it said.

A team comprising Mi7 strategic threat response unit members and police from Mountain Rise police station was formed and dispatched to the location.

“Inside the warehouse, three suspects, believed to be foreign nationals, were found unloading the copper from the container. All three were arrested and further investigations are continuing,” Mi7 said. – TimesLIVE

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