Thirteen people will appear in an Eastern Cape court on Wednesday after they were caught with suspected stolen cables worth nearly R2.5m.
The group‚ aged between 21 and 57‚ were nabbed early on Monday morning in two separate operations by several law enforcement units‚ including the provincial Hawks’ serious organised crime investigation unit‚ K9 unit‚ Komani flying squad and crime intelligence.
Eastern Cape Hawks spokesperson W/O Ndiphiwe Mhlakuvana said 11 people were arrested and two were nabbed later on the same day.
“The joint operation responded to information that suspects were conspiring to steal copper cables in the area of Sterkstrom using bakkies which were identified and surveilled.
“During the first operation an Isuzu bakkie was stopped and searched. A large quantity of copper cables was found and 11 suspects were arrested. Cable weighing 1‚262kg with an estimated value of more than R1m was seized. The bakkie was confiscated.”
In the second incident‚ two men were arrested at a farm between Komani and Sterkstrom for alleged cable theft and damage to essential infrastructure.
“A Nissan bakkie with copper cables weighing 1‚797kg worth R1.4m and a 9mm parabellum with ammunition were confiscated during the arrest‚” said Mhlakuvana.
All 13 suspects will face charges of cable theft and damage to essential infrastructure when they make their first court appearance.
Source: ARENA Holdings.