Hijackers target cigarette supplier

2015-12-10 06:00
 Photo: supplied Boxes emptied by the hijackers lay strewn outside the stolen van.

Photo: supplied Boxes emptied by the hijackers lay strewn outside the stolen van.

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VERULAM SAPS are investigating a group of hijackers which targeted a cigarette delivery van in Parkgate on Monday.

According to Verulam SAPS communications officer Warrant Officer Mark Prakasim, three men using masks had hijacked the driver armed with 9mm pistols.

“They took the driver to a dead end where they transferred the cigarettes into another white Toyota Quantam and then fled,” said Prakasim.

“The driver of the vehicle was left unharmed.”

The cigarettes are believed to be worth thousands of rands.

Head of Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) Prem Balram said Rusa officers recovered the hijacked vehicle following a tip-off from a resident in the area.

“The vehicle, a VW Transporter, belonging to British American Tobacco was recovered by Rusa officers in Regent Road, Parkgate after a resident noticed that four occupants of a Toyota Quantum were off loading goods from the VW Transporter,” said Balram.

Balram said upon arrival Rusa officers found the Transporter with its doors open and several packs of cigarettes strewn on the road.

“Several empty Stuyvesant boxes were also found on the road,” said Balram.

Prakasim said a case of hijacking and robbery is under investigation by police.

“It is likely these cigarettes were stolen for resale and we are warning individuals and businesses to refrain from buying these or any other goods that may be stolen.
“It is a criminal offence and claiming ignorance to buying a stolen item will not be tolerated,” said Prakasim.

“If an item is much cheaper than it should be and is not sold by a recognised distributor then you need to refrain from buying the suspicious goods.”

Prakasim said people can face hefty fines and imprisonment for purchase of stolen property.

“We are working with our stakeholders in the community like Rusa to combat these criminal elements and this incident is under serious investigation,” said Prakasim.

“By buying stolen goods you are aiding criminals and creating a market for them to operate within.”

Prakasim urged anyone who may be approached by these hijackers or their associates with the opportunity of buying these stolen cigarettes to contact the SAPS.

Contact the Verulam SAPS on 0325415222.

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