Scrapyard owner, truck driver nabbed in R500k copper cable bust

2019-07-30 19:36


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A scrapyard owner was arrested on Tuesday after attempting to bribe City of Johannesburg law enforcement officers with R50 000 during a bust which saw stolen copper worth about half a million rand seized.

Mayor Herman Mashaba said an anonymous tip-off resulted in the seizure at Roodepoort Recycling in a joint operation between the City of Johannesburg's group forensic and investigation services unit, the Metro police and the Hawks.

Following up on information that a truck was loading suspected stolen copper cable at the facility, the joint-operation team raided the scrapyard and found a truck loading suspected stolen copper with an estimated street value of R500 000.

The driver was arrested.

"Some of the 8 tonnes of copper has been identified as belonging to City Power. A further seven bags full of copper were found on the premises," Mashaba said.

"The owner of the scrapyard where the copper was found was also arrested for attempting to bribe law enforcement officers with R50 000. We have received information that the same owner had previously been convicted for copper theft and that yet another case of copper theft is currently pending against him."

Both suspects are being held at the Roodepoort police station ahead of their appearance in the local magistrate's court.

The haul comes two days after officials arrested two people after discovering copper worth around R100 000 at a home in Alexandra on Sunday night.

Metro police and unit members pounced on a scrapyard after receiving a tip-off and after two separate searches found two bags of copper cables in a bedroom in a house on the property.

Meanwhile, five suspects were arrested for cable theft in the early hours of Monday by the metro police's newly launched Integrated Intelligent Operation Centre team.

"The stolen copper cables, with an estimated value of R60 000, were already cut into 206 pieces of 2 metres each. All five suspects are detained at Joburg Central SAPS to face prosecution," Mashaba said.

"In order to combat the criminal syndicates responsible for cable theft, the City introduced a specialised JMPD unit whose exclusive focus will be to target these copper cable syndicates. The work of combating these syndicates requires a professionalised approach of a dedicated unit with the knowledge, skills and networks to be effective.

"For us to win the war against cable theft, a collaborative effort is required from all the role players involved."

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Read more on:    city of johannesburg  |  copper theft  |  bribes

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