Suspected Limpopo River cross-border vehicle smuggling mastermind Raymond Sibusiso Tshabalala [28] has been re-arrested after he had absconded while on bail. Tshabalala was re-arrested by the Musina Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation assisted by Gauteng Provincial Organised Crime Unit.

It is alleged that in the early hours of 9 December 2017, the accused together with his accomplices broke into a Ford Vehicle Dealership in Phalaborwa and stole six Ford motor vehicles. Two Ford Everest and four Ford Rangers to the value of R3 235 000.

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The matter was immediately reported to the police and a case was opened. It referred to the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation for further probe. An intensive investigation was conducted and it resulted in the recovery of five of the six stolen motor vehicles in the Masisi area near the Limpopo River on the very same day they were reported stolen.

Limpopo Cross-border vehicle smuggling mastermind re-arrested
A Vehicle being smuggled at the Limpopo River

The vehicles were intercepted from crossing the Limpopo River into Zimbabwe and all the drivers ran away. Through the assistance of the law-abiding citizens, one of the accused, Tsununu Ahmad Maphosa (36) who is already convicted and sentenced was arrested in the area while attempting to flee.

LIMPOPO VEHICLE SMUGGLING MASTERMIND ABSCOND BAIL

The Hawks continued with the investigation until Raymond Sibusiso Tshabalala was arrested in Gauteng Province on 9 January 2019. Tshabalala is believed to be the mastermind behind the cross-border vehicle smuggling syndicate that operates between Gauteng and Limpopo.

Tshabalala was later released on bail but he never showed up on his next court dates, and subsequently, a warrant of arrest was authorised against him. He is expected to appear in the Musina Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 11 September 2023.