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Diesel thieves intercepted at Transnet Freight Rail depot

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Five armed suspects were intercepted while attempting to steal diesel at Transnet Freight Rail’s (TFR’s) depot in Waterval Boven (Emgwenya), Mpumalanga, on Monday.

In a statement, TFR said the criminals accessed the site at around 02:00 with two vehicles, including a fuel tanker, and proceeded to transfer thousands of litres of diesel into their tanker.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) was reportedly tipped off by community members, who noticed suspicious activity at the depot. “As the police arrived, the suspects fled the scene on foot, leaving behind their vehicle as well as the fuel tanker.”

“The suspects had already transferred approximately 18 000 litres of diesel to their fuel tanker before fleeing the scene.”

TFR notes that a case of armed robbery and attempted theft was opened with SAPS.

It says the crime scene was thoroughly processed to collect evidence and possibly link the suspects to similar cases, including armed robbery and theft of diesel at TFR’s Lydenburg and Witbank depots.

It further notes that the Asset Forfeiture unit was activated to ensure the vehicles used for the crime are forfeited to the state.

“This is regarded as a major breakthrough, and it is expected that arrests are imminent.

“TFR commends the members of the community and the Saps for their swift action and calls on all stakeholders to join the fight against fuel theft by reporting any suspicious trucks or persons selling diesel at suspiciously low prices in the communities, and more importantly, to refrain from buying fuel from unregistered traders, as this only serves to exacerbate the problem by providing a thriving market for illicit trade.”

Nondumiso Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern.

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