Hawks Nab 7 in Connection with Large Scale Illicit Electricity Trade

Hawks Nab 7 in Connection with Large Scale Illicit Electricity Trade

- The Hawks reportedly arrested seven suspects in connection with a massive illicit prepaid electricity fraud and theft syndicate

- The suspects, aged between 28 and 67 years old, are expected to appear in the Fochville Magistrate's Court on Friday, 11 June

- The Hawks spokesperson Colonel Philani Nkwalase stated that one of the suspects tried to entice the arresting officers by offering a R100 000 bribe

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Seven suspects have been arrested in connection with large-scale prepaid electricity theft and fraud. The men are aged between 28 and 67 years old. Reports state that the suspects are expected to appear in the Fochville Magistrate's Court on Friday.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) nabbed the suspects in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Spokesperson for the Hawks Colonel Philani Nkwalase stated that the suspects allegedly attempted to bribe the arresting officers with R100 000.

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The suspects were subsequently also charged with corruption. Nkwalase stated that the suspects were allegedly found with ammunition and firearms. They will be facing additional charges related to this.

Hawks, illict electricty, arrest 7 men in connection with crime
The Hawks have nabbed 7 men in connection with the illicit trade of cigarettes. Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
Source: Getty Images

Investigations

According to TimesLIVE, Nkwalase stated that arrests followed investigations that started in May 2020. The investigations began in Bloemfontein, Free State, where officers probed the illicit sale of electricity enabled by illegal vendors.

Ghost vending

The above-mentioned vendors had possession of illegal electricity vending machines. This is regarded as 'Ghost vending'. 'Ghost vending' necessitates both the purchases and illegal sale of electricity.

Excessive income

The Citizen reported that the individuals were members of a countrywide syndicate that generated an income of approximately R150 000 to R250 000 per day from the sales of illegal electricity.

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Hawks arrests

Previously, Briefly News reported that 46-year-old Nonkululeko Ngwabe was found guilty of the murder of her husband Warrant Officer Thulani Ngwabe and sentenced to 22 years in jail. Nonkululeko allegedly hired accomplices to stab her husband multiple times.

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She was served with a 22-year jail term by the Pietermaritzburg High Court in KwaZulu-Natal. Hawks Spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo confirmed the news of 51-year-old Thulani's death.

Thulani's body was found on railway lines near a beach in Port Shepstone with multiple stab wounds in November 2019.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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