Five suspects have been arrested for tampering with essential infrastructure in the rail environment. The outrageous train looting in South Africa was recently exposed by Carte Blanche in a deep undercover investigation going inside some of PRASA’s railway stations where thieves have been stripping every piece of copper and steel they can find. Bit by bit and in broad daylight, criminals haven’t been afraid to carry away the expensive parts that keep these multimillion-rand public transport facilities functional!
A 48-year-old man has now been arrested for “tampering with essential infrastructure, distribution of critical infrastructure and theft of copper and electrical feeder cables”, said the South African Police Service (SAPS).
The suspect was arrested during a joint operation to address theft and damages of critical infrastructure in the rail environment by a multidisciplinary team consisting of members from the South African Police Service(SAPS) and the Public Rail Agency of South Africa(PRASA).
The suspect was found to be in possession of feeder cables worth a market value of R380,000 as well as copper cables worth a market value of R150,000.
A bakkie and tools that were were allegedly used in the commission of the crime were also siezed.
The suspect has been detained at the Hercules police station and will appear before the Pretoria Magistrates Court in due course.
In another incident, a team in Germiston responded to reports that unknown persons were tampering with essential infrastructure. The team followed up on information and found four men in possession of copper cables worth a market value of R14,483. The tools that were utilized in the commission of the crimes were also seized.
The four suspects have been detained at the Germiston police station and will appear before the Germiston Magistrates Court to answer to charges of tampering with essential infrastructure.
Communities are warned against the tampering of essential infrastructure as this often leads to thousands of commuters stranded and in some cases may cause loss of life due to train collusion and derailment.