The Hawks on Wednesday pounced on an alleged kingpin of a syndicate linked to the theft of fuel, which has caused damage to essential infrastructure.
The 35-year-old suspect was arrested in Pretoria by a multidisciplinary team, led by the Free State Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation team, together with Bidvest Protea Coin Security and the Gauteng Traffic Department Saturation Unit.
Hawks spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase, said the arrest followed further investigation into the arrest of two suspects, aged between 35 and 41, on Saturday.
The two were arrested for the theft of fuel and tempering with the Transnet national pipeline in Vrede, Free State and were arrested on delivering the stolen fuel in Kromdraai, Witbank.
“The duo, Mauro Aurelia Langa (41), a Mozambican national and Solly Khoza (35) appeared in the Vrede Magistrates’ Court yesterday and are expected be back in court on 24 October 2022.
Police seized the tanker with fuel, which was involved in Saturday’s incident.
The alleged kingpin is expected to appear in the Witbank Magistrates court tomorrow and will later appear in Vrede with the other suspects.
Nkwalase said it was now on public record that almost 8.5 million litres of fuel, valued at approximately R102 million, has been stolen from national Transnet pipes in the last year.