Truck with imported cars stolen in PMB

2012-08-15 00:00

A TRUCK transporting six used cars — imported from Japan — from Durban to Zimbabwe was hijacked on the N3 in Pietermaritzburg on Monday night.

The owner of the company, Tahair Ahmed, told The Witness yesterday that around midnight on Monday, a grey Toyota Camry stopped in front of the truck on the N3 in Pietermaritzburg, forcing the driver, Benjamin Tukuza (33), to stop.

“Four guys with firearms got out of the car. Two of them got into the truck while the other two went back into the car,” Ahmed said.

“One of the guys then took over the truck, and started driving towards Hilton,” he said.

Once in the Hilton forests, they moved the driver and his assistant into one of the cars that were in the back of the truck and drove for about 20 km.

“My driver told me that he could hear they were making a lot of phone calls as they were driving.”

Ahmed said they returned to the truck, where 10 other people and another car were waiting.

The cars were off loaded, and stolen. The keys were in the care of the driver.

“My drivers, who are from Zimbabwe, told me that they thought two of the people there were also from Zimbabwe.

“Some guys were speaking to each other in Zulu, while they also heard some speaking in Shona,” he said. The occupants of the truck — two men and a woman — were robbed of cellphones and money among other items.

The woman, he said, had recently bought a car and was catching a lift back to Zimbabwe.

She had $2 000 (R16 339) in her shoe, which was not taken.

“My drivers were badly beaten up. They were busted up after being hit with the butt of a gun and their lips were swollen,” said Ahmed.

After hearing of the incident when coming from a mosque, he said he went straight to the drivers and took them to a surgeon in Howick for treatment yesterday morning. He had notified the insurance company of the theft.

Ahmed said a friend had told him of an identical hijacking on the same stretch of the N3 just two weeks earlier. He added that this was the second hijacking of one of his trucks in the last six years.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said the cars that were on the truck were two Toyota Hi-Aces valued at R35 000, a Toyota Nadia (R28 000), a Honda CRV (R20 000-R25 000), a Nissan Liberty (R20 000-R25 000) and a Madza Primacy (R20 000- R25 000).

An armed robbery case is being investigated. No arrests have been made.

• lunga.biyela@witness.co.za

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