Cops arrest 3 fuel gang members

Michael Sakuneka

Michael Sakuneka

Police in Louis Trichardt, Limpopo, have arrested three suspects who are alleged to be members of a petrol scam syndicate.

The three were arrested on Monday as they allegedly targeted petrol stations along the N1 road between Louis Trichardt and Musina.

Area police spokesman Captain Maano Sadike said the suspects would pull up at service stations and politely ask a forecourt attendant to fill up their vehicle or containers that they carried with them.

They would then hand a fraudulent bank card to the attendant for payment.

While the attendant went to the office to conclude the transaction the suspect would drive away.

Sadike told Sowetan that the suspects allegedly went to service stations near Louis Trichardt with two 220-litre tanks and twice made off with fuel estimated at more than R200000.

They were arrested after police received a tip-off from an observant service station owner in the Louis Trichardt area.

Police took immediate action and cornered the robbers while they were trying to swindle another service station near Musina after their car had is said to have run out of petrol.

"The syndicate has used similar methods to rob various garages along the N1," Sadike said.

"The police have been getting similar complaints from several garage owners in the area."

The three suspects appeared briefly in the Louis Trichardt magistrate's court yesterday. They were denied bail.

Their case was postponed to September 17 and they were all remanded in custody to allow police investigations to continue.