Woman farm owner bust 'soliciting cash' for stolen vehicles to cross to Lesotho
The Hawks have led a sting operation to arrest a woman land owner in Fouriesburg who allegedly set up a “tollgate” - charging car thieves and illegal immigrants to use her property to cross into SA and re-enter Lesotho.
Lt Col Philani Nkwalase said a multidisciplinary, intelligence-driven operation was conducted in the early hours of Thursday by a Hawks team assisted by Crime Intelligence, the Tactical Response Team and SA National Defence Force.
The woman and an accomplice were arrested for alleged corruption.
The 38-year-old farm owner is reported by Netwerk24 to be a Lesotho national who had married a SA man, and had inherited the land as his widow after his death.
Nkwalase said the Hawks had acted on information that she had “graded sand from her farm across the border for illegal cross-border activities, which includes crossing of illegal immigrants and hijacked as well as stolen vehicles.”
“A covert operation was conducted by Hawks members who needed to cross the border using her ‘tollgate’.
“She agreed and demanded R1,000 for a stolen vehicle to cross. Cash was paid and the suspects [the farm owner and an accomplice, aged 28] were immediately arrested.”
They will appear at the Fouriesburg magistrate’s court on Monday.
“The investigation to link them to other serious cases is continuing,” Nkwalase said.
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