Hawks: Top officials not being investigated

2014-05-30 11:40
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Johannesburg - No senior Hawks officials are being investigated for involvement in a reported cigarette syndicate, the Hawks said on Friday.

"There are two junior members whose actions in handling a hijacked truck are being looked at internally," spokesperson Paul Ramaloko said.

"They still traced and found the truck. They did a good job but their conduct is being looked at internally."

On Friday, The Star newspaper reported that high-ranking Hawks officers were currently under investigation for their alleged involvement in the hijacking of a truck carrying cigarettes worth R12m.

BAT company truck hijacked

On 15 May, Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale said in a statement that on 14 May police recovered several million rands worth of stolen goods and arrested a 42-year-old man allegedly linked to the hijacking.

"On Tuesday, 13 May 2014 a British American Tobacco (BAT) company truck with a container carrying 980 cases of Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes to the value of R12m was hijacked," he said.

"At approximately 04:30 the truck left the BAT depot in Heidelberg for Pretoria followed by an escort vehicle with two drivers."

While travelling on the N3, a sedan with blue lights and a SUV ordered the driver of the truck, as well as the escort vehicle, to stop.

Truck, container found abandoned

The truck driver and two people in the escort car were then driven away in the SUV with the sedan left abandoned at the scene with bullet holes in it.

The three were dropped off in Midrand, where they reported the hijacking to police. The truck and empty container were later found abandoned in Protea Glen, Soweto.

At the time, Makgale said it was not possible to confirm whether the car with blue lights was a legitimate police vehicle.

Police investigations led to a retail facility in Quellierie Street in Witpoortjie, Roodepoort, where police found cigarettes worth around R3m in one of the units.

Other items believed to have been used in other "blue light" robberies were also found.
- SAPA
Read more on:    hawks  |  crime
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