Cops close in on car smuggling ring

2010-11-17 20:52

Johannesburg - A shipment of cars worth about R80m smuggled into the country from the United Kingdom was seized at the Durban harbour on Wednesday, KwaZulu-Natal police said.

"We have a huge consignment of cars, BMWs, Range Rovers, Mercedes Benz, Porsches and VWs, spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Mdunge said.

"We seized 17 cars in total that were allegedly stolen from the UK and shipped into the country illegally.

"We have experts that are police officers deployed from the UK that are working together with our vehicle theft unit," he said.

Mdunge said there was a "huge syndicate run by top business people" who were having the cars hijacked or stolen in the UK and then shipping them to buyers in South Africa.

The police had been investigating the syndicate since July this year.

"The operation started in July and today we made a breakthrough," he said.

No arrests had been made but police were still investigating.

"Once we have concluded our investigation we will close down on the king pin."

The cars were being shipped back to the UK. It will have jurisdiction as the cars were stolen from there, Mdunge said.

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