Sting recovers goods from hijacked harbour trucks
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.