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Watch: Bogus cops arrested after being caught on dashcam hijacking cigarettes truck

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Police have nabbed three suspects impersonating police officers who allegedly hijacked a truck transporting cigarettes valued at R4 million.

While four other suspects remain at large, law enforcement authorities successfully arrested three individuals, including two foreign nationals, involved in the crime.

The incident was captured on video, showing the alleged bogus cops, some of whom were dressed in civilian clothes, forcefully taking over the truck driver and the valuable cargo at Koppies in the Free State.

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According to the owner of the trucking company who chose to remain anonymous, the driver was en route to deliver the cigarettes to Cape Town on Tuesday when he was signalled to stop by a person wearing a police uniform.

The owner explained that her company had arranged for an escort to accompany the truck, ensuring its safety throughout the journey. However, the driver claimed that he either did not see the escort or they had abandoned him, contrary to the initial plan.

As the driver reached Vereeniging, he was stopped by an individual donning a police uniform. The driver complied, and the supposed bogus cop falsely accused him of having worn-out tires, intending to issue a fine. However, the driver became suspicious since he knew his tires were new. Acting cautiously, he activated a panic button.

In the video footage, after the fake inspection, the truck driver is seen attempting to reenter his vehicle, but he is forcibly pulled out by the alleged bogus cop. The impersonator then guides him towards a VW Polo. The hijacking is completed when another suspect emerges from the Polo and swiftly makes his way to the truck before driving away.

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Police reports indicate that the suspects held the driver captive for approximately 30 kilometres before forcing him into another vehicle, a white Toyota Corolla. They bound his hands with cable ties and drove for an additional 20 kilometers before abandoning him under a bridge.

Sergeant Josephine Rani, the spokesperson for the Free State provincial police, disclosed that authorities received information about a white Toyota Corolla suspected of involvement in truck and courier vehicle hijackings.

Read | Dashcam Captures Armed Robbers Force Trucker To Stop And Rob Him In Hazyview

Acting swiftly, the police proceeded to Koppies and, upon spotting the Corolla’s occupants, initiated a pursuit. After a brief chase, law enforcement successfully apprehended the suspects.

The truck driver, accompanied by a security officer, identified the apprehended individuals as those who had kidnapped and hijacked him. The police subsequently took the suspects to the Koppies police station for further interrogation.

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Sergeant Rani revealed that the three suspects, aged between 48 and 54, including two foreign nationals, are currently in police custody. However, four other individuals linked to the crime are still evading capture.

The abandoned truck, still fully loaded with cigarettes, was discovered on the N1 highway.

The three arrested suspects are expected to face charges of hijacking and kidnapping in the forthcoming court proceedings at the Koppies Magistrate’s Court.

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