Scrap yard owners released

2020-02-12 06:06
photo: suppliedRailway tracks and sleepers that were found at a scrap yard in Maydon Wharf last week.

photo: suppliedRailway tracks and sleepers that were found at a scrap yard in Maydon Wharf last week.

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TWO suspects who were due to appear briefly before the Greytown Magistrate’s Court on Monday in connection with theft of railway lines and railway sleepers were instead released as the case was reportedly not on the court roll.

The two men, aged 31 and 59 respectively, who are reportedly owners of a scrap yard situated in Durban, were arrested on February 6 after the police found railway tracks and railway sleepers at the scrap yard.

The goods are valued at approximately R8 million and the men were arrested in Greytown.

The men were kept in police cells while waiting for their appearance in court, but were later released due to lack of evidence linking them to the crime.

The Gazette has since established that the Hawks have taken over the investigation.

According to the police, members of the Provincial Non-Ferrous Task Team had received information about the suspected stolen Transnet infrastructure at the scrap yard in Maydon Wharf in Durban.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said: “During the night the team began following up on leads with regards to the stolen railway tracks and railway sleepers.

“On Friday morning the team was joined by officials from Transnet, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and Telkom. They proceeded to the identified bulk metal scrapyard and discovered tons of railway lines and railway sleepers on the site.

“The items were positively identified by a representative of Transnet as belonging to them.” Naicker said the employees who were at the premises when the police moved in on the scrap yard were questioned with regards to the property.

“They produced documentation which indicated that the items were authorised for sale by Prasa.

“The letter was sent to the Prasa head office for verification and it was established that the letter was fraudulent.

“A total of 181 tons of Transnet infrastructure was seized by police. The items have an estimated value of R8 million.

“Further investigation led police to a scrap yard located in Greytown which revealed that the railway lines were removed from Greytown.

Attempts to get a comment from the Hawks was not successful at the time of going to press.

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