Sting re­cov­ers goods from hi­jacked har­bour trucks

Sunday Tribune - - FRONT PAGE -

A HI­JACK­ING syndicate tar­get­ing trucks leav­ing Dur­ban har­bour has re­sulted in calls from in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials for tight­ened se­cu­rity mea­sures at the port fol­low­ing two in­ci­dents last week.

Po­lice be­lieve that “in­sid­ers” at the port were leak­ing vi­tal in­for­ma­tion about the move­ment of valu­able goods to crim­i­nals, who were prey­ing on truck driv­ers.

In joint sting op­er­a­tions con­ducted by metro po­lice and the Pro­vin­cial Or­gan­ised Crime Unit, goods worth mil­lions of rands have been re­cov­ered from sus­pected hi­jack­ers.

More than 100 Falken tyres and 1 049 boxes of Nivea prod­ucts were re­cov­ered at a home in Malvern af­ter two trucks of the goods were hi­jacked. A 51-year-old man was ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the hi­jack­ings.

The es­ti­mated value of the goods was R2.5 mil­lion. Parts be­long­ing to the trucks were also found at the scene.

Metro Po­lice spokesper­son Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent Sew­per­shad Parb­hoo said: “This was not an iso­lated case and we will con­tinue to work with SAPS to make sure those in­volved in the syndicate are brought to book.”

A po­lice in­tel­li­gence source said the al­leged syndicate tar­geted con­tain­ers com­ing out of the har­bour, car­ry­ing ex­pen­sive con­sign­ments.

For the syndicate to know de­tailed in­for­ma­tion about the goods, as well as their des­ti­na­tion, meant that they were al­legedly be­ing fed with in­for­ma­tion from those linked to the port.

“A num­ber of trucks have been hi­jacked in re­cent months. An­other is­sue is that if there is a se­cu­rity breach from within, it needs to be ad­dressed im­me­di­ately and the in­for­mants need to be iden­ti­fied,” said the source.

Po­lice spokesper­son Lieu­tenant Nqo­bile Gwala said cases of theft were opened at the Pine­town and Ham­mars­dale po­lice sta­tions and one of the trucks in­volved in a re­cent hi­jack­ing was re­cov­ered in Ham­mars­dale.

Re­spond­ing to the al­leged se­cu­rity threat, Moshe Mot­lohi, Transnet’s Port of Dur­ban man­ager, said se­cu­rity in­ci­dents out­side of the port precinct were not within Transnet’s ju­ris­dic­tion.

“Transnet’s port di­vi­sions have no prior knowl­edge of the con­tents of con­tain­ers han­dled at the port,” said Mot­lohi.

The boxes of Nivea prod­ucts were re­cov­ered at a home in Malvern.

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