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2021/03/29      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mokgwabone   |   Province:  North West

POTCHEFSTROOM: A take down operation by Provincial Organised Crime Unit on Thursday, 25 March 2021, swooped on eight male suspects after being linked to a series of robberies.

The suspects, aged between 25 and 50 and believed to be members of a syndicate, were arrested after a lengthy and intensive investigation subsequent to a number of robberies allegedly committed between September 2018 and November 2020 in Makwassie, Boskuil and Wolmaransstad. The swoop, brought to 16, a number of suspects arrested since the beginning of the investigation in August last year by a multi-disciplinary team comprising of Crime Intelligence, Commercial Crime, Provincial Organised Crime, Crime Investigation Services as well as Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management. 

According to the reports and as part of the suspects’ way of tricking victims, they would advertise sales of livestock and motor vehicles through various online advertising companies and social media platforms. The unsuspecting potential buyers from as far as KwaZulu-Natal would respond to the advertisement. They would then be lured to secluded places for transactions, but will eventually be robbed of their large amounts of cash, cell phones other personal belongings.

In one of the cases in November 2018, the then 58-year-old man, was robbed of his cash, bank card and cell phone by a group of men in Boskuil while in the process of buying sheep.

The arrested suspects are expected to appear in the Wolmaransstad Magistrates' Court on Monday, 29 March 2021 facing several counts of robbery and possession of suspected stolen goods. 

An appeal is made to the public to exercise caution when responding to online advertisements. Meanwhile, the police request anyone who fell victim to the scam to contact Brigadier Clifford Kgorane at 082 492 3921. 

The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena commended the team for their dedication that led to the arrests which he is confident that they will send a strong warning that crime does not pay.