News | South Africa | Crime
Two suspects arrested by the Mpumalanga Hawks – Delphas Shabangu and Nkosinathi Ngobeni – seemingly intended to use an angle grinder to cut open a Transnet fuel pipeline in Mpumalanga recently.
According to Hawks Mpumalanga spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi, the arrest followed a tip-off from the drone team who were patrolling that night.
The angle grinder was among the tools recovered by the police.
“Security made an observation and saw the suspects busy digging the ground on top of the Transnet fuel pipeline. The matter was reported to Fidelity security, who summoned law enforcement,” said Sekgotodi.
He said the team arrived at the scene and arrested two suspects, while four others escaped.
According to Transnet spokeswoman Saret Knoetze, the pipeline was damaged but no spillage was detected, which could have led to injuries and/or fatalities, extensive environmental damage and fire.
“Transnet has implemented various security measures and are collaborating with the Hawks, National Crime Intelligence and SA Police Service to deal with fuel theft in the country,” said Knoetze.
She also said Transnet has urged all petroleum retailers and members of the public to refrain from buying fuel from unregistered traders.
“Transnet also calls on stakeholders to join in on the fight against petroleum theft by reporting suspicious activity,” she said.
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