A breakthrough in a Transnet railway track theft case led to the recovery of R1 million worth of tracks and the arrest of a gang of seven suspects in KwaZulu-Natal this week.
Private security company Magma Security & Investigations, working with the Camperdown SAPS and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations in Pietermaritzburg (Hawks), arrested the seven suspects after three vehicles transporting stolen tracks were pulled over on the Umlaas Road and the N3 Freeway.
Magma Security director Shaheen Suleiman said the firm’s investigators had received a tip-off about three vehicles that were travelling from the Richmond area to Durban via the Umlaas Road at around 4.30am on Wednesday.
“Information indicated that these vehicles were carrying suspected stolen property, railway tracks,” he said.
Magma Security members immediately responded and spotted the three vehicles approaching the Umlaas Road intersection.
They managed to stop two vehicles, each carrying two occupants.
In both vehicles members spotted cut-up railway tracks in approximately 2m lengths each.
“The suspects were immediately detained,” Suleiman said.
Minutes later, security officers managed to intercept the third vehicle which had disappeared on the N3 towards Durban.
“This vehicle was also loaded with cut-up pieces of railway tracks and gas bottles,” Suleiman added. “Security officers apprehended a further three suspects who were travelling in the third vehicle.
“Members immediately phoned Camperdown SAPS, the Hawks and Transnet investigators.”
All seven suspects and three vehicles were handed over to police.
“The Magma staff further assisted the SAPS to escort the suspects to Camperdown police station where they were detained,” Suleiman said.
Among the confiscated goods were railway track with an estimated R1-million replacement value, Ford, Toyota and Mahindra bakkies, eight cellphones, four gas bottles and a blow torch.