Joburg property hijacking kingpin and two accomplices arrested

2017-12-30 08:42


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Johannesburg -  The most wanted property hijacker in Johannesburg and his two co-accused, who are implicated in eight cases of property hijacking, were arrested on Saturday morning.

Johannesburg executive mayor, Herman Mashaba, said the kingpin is alleged to have approached unsuspecting tenants residing in properties around the city, and introduced himself as an investigator.

"He would then state that the true owners of the properties were hijackers and that the tenants should not co-operate with them."

Mashaba said the man would instruct the tenants not to pay any rent to the owners, but to him instead.

"The same modus operandi was used earlier this year when the kingpin and his co-accused attempted to hijack a building in Jeppestown."

Mashaba said the owners of the property informed the City's Group Forensic and Investigation Services (GFIS) unit, which roped in the Hawks and successfully handed back the property, which was hijacked for a day.

"The owners had obtained an eviction order and it is alleged that the kingpin assisted the evicted illegal occupiers to hijack the property again. A scuffle ensued between security personnel and the illegal occupants, shots were fired, and two people were injured in the process," he said.

It was further alleged that, in the past, the kingpin has also utilised the services of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police (JMPD), in order to be escorted to properties he wanted to hijack, under the pretence that he is working closely with the City in investigating hijacked buildings, Mashaba stated.

"GFIS working together with law enforcement agencies such as the South African Police Service (SAPS) is at an advanced stage of investigating a number of cases in which the kingpin is implicated in.

157-page criminal profile

"The kingpin has been convicted of fraud before and was also found guilty of impersonating a police officer; he has a 157-page criminal profile. It is alleged that he has been operating throughout the country and has criminal cases in Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and in the Western Cape," Mashaba said.

"Hijacked properties are a major challenge faced by the City but we are pleased with the progress we are making in addressing these challenges."  

Mashaba said 11 hijacked properties have been handed back to their rightful owners, and municipal officials had also assisted in the arrest of three other property hijackers in the last three weeks.

He said the issue of hijacked buildings was a concern, with 164 buildings confirmed as hijacked in Johannesburg.

"The City will not leave any stone unturned when dealing with criminal activities within its area of jurisdiction.

"We are committed to ensuring that we stop the rot in our inner city and make it a prosperous and inclusive place for our people to live work and play," he said.

The three property hijackers will appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday, January 4, 2018.

Read more on:    herman mashaba  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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