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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Suspect arrested for R80 million catalytic converters stolen from hijacked truck

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Police in the Free State have arrested a 44-year-old suspect after finding him with suspected stolen diesel engine catalytic converters from a reported hijacked truck on Wednesday.

Police spokesperson, Sgt Mahlomola Kareli, said that Free State Provincial Organised Crime Unit working together with Bloemfontein Tactical Response Team and Local Criminal Record Centre, reacted on an intelligence led information about a warehouse possibly used to store goods from hijacked trucks.

“Information led members to a warehouse in East End industrial park in Bloemfontein. On arrival members found the warehouse owner and the suspect whose stored property belongs to,”

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“The police officials found 1680 boxes containing Diesel Engine catalytic converters worth an estimated value of R80 million packed in the warehouse,”

“The 44-year-old suspect could not produce proof of ownership of the goods and was subsequently arrested,” said Sgt Kareli.

“Upon further investigations, it was revealed that the loot came from a truck that was hijacked back in May 2022,” he added.

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It’s alleged that a truck was hijacked while travelling from Eastern Cape to Gauteng Province.

The truck driver alleged that he was attacked by a group of unknown males driving a bakkie after he stopped on the side of the road near Venterstad in Eastern Cape.

The suspects put the driver in their vehicle and drove towards Bloemfontein where they met with the 44-year-old who arranged for storage.

The truck was later handed back to the driver without the cargo and Police were made aware of the incident.

Kareli said the team was following other leads that can assist in the arrest of more suspects.

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“The arrested suspect will be charged for being in possession of stolen goods and will appear in court soon,” said Kareli.

Catalytic converters found
Stolen catalytic converters worth R80 million were recovered in the warehouse. Photo: SAPS
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