Bogus livestock sellers held for robbery

Potchefstroom � The Provincial Organised Unit and the police in Wolmaransstad arrested six suspects between Thursday, 04 and Friday, 05 January 2018 for two separate cases of robbery and attempted robbery committed in Makwassie and Wolmaransstad respectively.

In the first case in Makwassie, three suspects aged 29, 30 and 34 were nabbed after a 36-year-old man from Rustenburg informed the police that he was robbed at Boskuil on Thursday, 04 January 2018. According to information received, the victim was allegedly responding to an online advertisement about livestock sale. He met and negotiated the sale deal with the suspects who claimed to be farmers. They drove to Boskuil where three people emerged from the bushes, threatened and ultimately robbed him of his firearm, cash, cell phone and wallet before leaving him stranded.

The victim reported the matter to the police in Makwassie and a search was launched by the Provincial Organised and Cluster Detectives for the suspects. The search paid off when the trio was apprehended on Friday, 5 January 2018 in Boskuil.

The suspects have already made first appearance in the Wolmaransstad Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 8 January 2018. They will appear in Makwassie Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 11 January 2018, for formal bail application.

In the second case, the police in Wolmaransstad arrested three suspects aged between 38 and 39 on Friday, 05 January 2018 for attempted common robbery. The suspects were arrested after a 38-year-old man informed the police about suspicious men he was in the process of buying livestock from. That was after he responded to an online advertisement about a sale of sheep.

The man eventually received call from a caller who indicated that he has been requested to fetch and take him to Tswelelang Location, Wolmaransstad. The caller came with a vehicle commonly known as Tambaai and picked the man to take him to Tswelelang Location, Wolmaransstad. However, the man was left along N12 and later joined by one of the suspects who was on foot from Tswelelang Location. Unaware that he is being monitored, the man who walked from Location, arranged another Tambaai to convey them to Boskuil, but he and the initial driver were both arrested. The third suspect who came with a Tambaai was also arrested. Due to the calls they got from other suspects who were waiting in Boskuil, the police travelled with the suspects’ vehicles. It is alleged that the other suspects managed to realise what was happening upon arrival of the police and ran away to evade the arrest.

The arrested trio appeared in the Wolmaransstad Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 08 January 2018 and were remanded in custody until 15 January 2018 for formal bail application.

Further probe into both cases linked one of the suspects to another case that was reported last week in Wolmaransstad. Investigation into the matter continues and the police believe that further linkages and other arrests are imminent.

Members of the community are once more warned to be careful about deceitful sellers who advertise sales of vehicles and livestock with intention to rob unsuspecting potential buyers.

The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane expressed her appreciation about the arrest as well as investigation progress that shows that suspects are linked to other cases and that more suspects will be taken down soon. She said that this scam has been a problem to a certain extent despite several cautions issued to potential buyers through various media platforms to avoid involvement in such deals.

The police in the province urge those who were previously conned by people who pretended to be selling livestock and vehicles, but ended up being robbed, to call the Investigation Officers, D/WO Samuel Kutumela on 082 338 2593 or Lieutenant Colonel Ismail Dawood on 082 319 4471.

Source: South African Police Service