Pair arrested for extracting fuel from the national pipeline

PRETORIA – A pair aged 26 and 30 were arrested for extracting diesel from the national pipeline in Phumla near Vosloorus in the East of Johannesburg on Wednesday evening.
Another breakthrough in the fight against fuel thieving and damages to essential infrastructure has been accomplished in just a short space of time covering two weeks, after an operation that netted a 35-year-old alleged fuel theft kingpin, Fana Malambe.
A multi-disciplinary approach amongst the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Witbank Bidvest Protea Coin Security Services and Transnet security resulted in the significant achievement.
The continuous operation was fortified from Friday last week when a Transnet Depot in Germiston realized that there was a drop of pressure in the pipeline which is usually a sign of the pipeline being tampered with. Observations and surveillance using the latest technological gadgets were intensified along the N3 highway.
Around 22:30 on Wednesday, the team intercepted an Isuzu delivery truck with two occupants leaving the Phumla area. The truck was stopped and upon inspecting it, six large plastic containers were found loaded at the back. Further examination confirmed the contents to be just over 4750 litres of diesel. The pair was immediately apprehended and they led the team to a nearby stand that is adjacent to the freeway. Nothing could have prepared the team for what they were to discover next.
At a glance, it looked like a normal residence but when the team probed further around the yard, they discovered that there was a hosepipe from a makeshift house connected to a generator and extended to an underground tunnel that leads all the way to the national pipeline.
Various equipment and the truck were seized to allow further investigation. The arrested pair is expected to appear in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 4 November 2022 and more arrests are expected.
The Gauteng Provincial Head of the Hawks, Major General Ebrahim Kadwa has commended the team for their spectacular efforts. “The operation proves that the DPCI is closing down on all criminal activities relating to the tampering of the key national infrastructure. The deployment of intelligence based initiatives which encompasses latest technology will be intensified. This is the time when the public cannot afford to sit and watch when our infrastructure is being damaged at the rate it is. The immense risk and danger posed by tampering with the fuel pipeline is unconceivable, especially in urban, residential and the environment as a whole,” said Maj General Kadwa.
Let us all help put a stop to this criminal act. Call the police when you notice suspicious activities or directly call Bidvest Protea Coin on the toll free number 0800 112 132. Callers will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

Source: South African Police Service