'Sinister' burglar targeting investigators

2012-11-08 08:34

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Johannesburg - People investigating sensitive and political cases are increasingly being targeted by burglars who seem interested only in stealing documents.

Banks investigator Raymondt Dicks told The Star that CCTV cameras showed police cars patrolling outside his house during a robbery at his house, during which computers were stolen.

Security expert Hennie Van Vuuren said he was working on a document on the arms deal when he was burgled twice. Van Vuuren said he had no doubt that two robberies at his Cape Town office were about stealing information.

Journalists have also been targeted. “My computer and all its back-ups were taken…There are so many big cases we work on that it remains a possibility the theft was for more sinister reasons, but we can’t be sure,” said Noseweek editor Martin Welz about a robbery two months ago.

Andrew Trench, the editor of Media24’s investigations team and Jacques Pauw had their laptops taken from their offices at work with no sign of a break-in.

“We were very suspicious because we were working on stories involving crime intelligence and state security at the time. We had no evidence that the theft was sinister, but we were suspicious,” Trench said.

DA police spokesperson Dianne Kohler Barnard commented: “I know that when the Mdluli case was going on, there were some strange forces at work,” she said.

“The question must be asked: who would benefit from this information? It is becoming increasingly worrying that we are regressing… to an era where we are fearing sections of the police service.” 
Read more on:    da  |  media24  |  johannesburg  |  cape town

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