Cops hunt and kill car smuggler

Sakhile Mokoena

Sakhile Mokoena

Mpumalanga police have shot and killed a member of a vehicle smuggling syndicate that operates between South Africa and Mozambique.

The man, who has not been identified yet, was shot on Monday by Lows Creek police while his two accomplices fled the scene.

Police received a tip off about two stolen 4x4 bakkies that were reportedly travelling along the R38 road towards the Schoemansdal border to Mozambique.

Police spokesman Captain Lucky Sithole said the police hid in the bushes where they had previously found stolen vehicles.

The unsuspecting smugglers were surprised when they saw the police.

"Two suspects fled and one was killed when police opened fire," Sithole said.

Sithole said they were waiting for the man's family to identify the suspect and hopefully find information that might lead to the arrest of the other suspects.

The vehicles, worth over half a million rand, were reported stolen in White River and Sabie.

Sithole said cases of motor vehicle theft and murder have been opened.

Police said the R38 road was used as a escape route by vehicle smugglers who operate between the two countries.

The smugglers apparently hide the vehicles in the bushes while they make arrangements to illegally smuggle them over the border.