A KwaZulu-Natal man allegedly caught cutting overhead railway cables has led to the arrest of eight others and the seizure of 180kg of stolen copper cable.
Police spokesperson Lt-Col Nqobile Gwala said police from Charlestown, near Newcastle, were on patrol on Saturday when they spotted a “suspicious person” at a Transnet tunnel in the area.
“The police went to investigate and were joined by security officers.
“The suspect was seen cutting overhead rail cable from the line within the tunnel.
“The suspect was placed under arrest for damaging and tampering with essential infrastructure.
“Further investigation led police to a minibus taxi where eight alleged accomplices were arrested. Police seized stolen copper which weighed 180kg. The recovered copper is valued at R350,000.”
Gwala said the men, aged between 28 and 43, will be profiled “to check if they are linked to similar cases reported in Charlestown and surrounding areas”.
“They are appearing before the Newcastle magistrate's court on charges of tampering with and damaging essential infrastructure. The matter will be investigated by the Hawks.”