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By Citizen Reporter


‘Kingpin’ behind international syndicate hijacking high-calibre vehicles arrested

This is how top law enforcement agencies came together to track down and arrest a kingpin linked to a major hijacking syndicate.

A suspect believed to be the kingpin in an international high-calibre vehicles hijacking syndicate that operated in Johannesburg’s suburbs has been arrested.

It was said that the syndicate targeted luxury vehicles in Johannesburg, and after hijacking their victims, would then coordinate the transporting of these vehicles to neighbouring countries.

According to police reports, Gauteng’s top brass law enforcement agencies came together on this joint operation to provide an identity for the man and track him down to a single location.

Police further claimed that the suspect had, to date, worked very systematically and carefully to cover his tracks making it very hard for law enforcement officials to bring him to book.

It was for this reason that a team comprising of members from the South African Police Service Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit in Soweto, SAPS Crime Intelligence, Gauteng Traffic Police Saturation Unit, Bad Boyz Security, Tracker Connect, Vision Tactical Security, Insurance Crime Burea, and Hollard Insurance were assembled to intercept one of Joburg’s most wanted criminals.

Information received

It was on Thursday morning – 2 February 2023 – that police received the call they had been waiting for.

An informant told that the suspect was expected to be at one of the plush shopping malls in Johannesburg.

It is here that the suspect and his gang were said to be frequently operating. They would identify their victims on a regular basis and when the opportunity presented itself, they would pounce on them and carry out the hijacking. But the tables were able to be turned on this particular day.

Suspect arrived in a grey Mercedes Benz

Image: Supplied by SAPS.

After stationing themselves at the mall, the team kept close observation and surveillance of the surroundings. Eventually, they spotted their suspect driving into the mall in a grey Mercedes Benz.

He drove his vehicle straight into the basement parking of the mall, out of general sight.

NOW READ: Johannesburg CBD ‘hijacking’ not what it seems

Making sure that the coast was clear, he then made his way to a White Ford Ranger that was also parked in the basement. He unlocked the vehicle, got in, and drove toward the exit.

Police pounce on suspect

It is then that the team pounced on the suspect as he was about to exit the mall. Police brought him out of the vehicle and placed him under an arrest.

After retrieving the Ford Ranger’s registration number and relevant information, they were able to establish that it too was a stolen vehicle.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the Ford Ranger was hijacked from its owner in Alexandra. Police also ran a check on the Mercedes Benz that he arrived in. It was found that this vehicle too was linked to a hijacking in the Moffatview area.

Image: Supplied by SAPS.

Interrogations and investigations continue

The suspect was questioned and police were able to track down his place of residence.

Upon arrival, they immediately found a white Toyota Fortuner that looked like it was being tampered with. Police added that the team then decided to ransack the place, in the hope of uncovering more evidence.

“Upon doing this, multiple vehicle registration documents and passports were found. These were also seized.”

ALSO READ: Man shot dead in botched hijacking in KwaZulu-Natal

Image: Supplied by SAPS.


The suspect was arrested and charged with possession of suspected stolen and/or hijacked vehicles. He is expected to appear at the Roodepoort Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 6 February 2023. Police confirmed that more suspects were expected to be arrested in connection with the hijacking syndicate pending further investigation.

Gauteng Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela applauded the team that worked so hard to locate and arrest the suspect. He also ordered the police to conduct a more thorough investigation and profile the suspect as he believed they might be part of a bigger syndicate.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Hijacker shot during SUV theft attempt in KZN

*Compiled by Devina Haripersad

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