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Naamsa: Sophisticated syndicate using dummy keys to access vehicles

702 host Bongani Bingwa speaks to Mike Mabasa, executive director of Naamsa, about how widespread the problem of car theft using dummy electronic keys is in South Africa.

Picture: pexels.com

JOHANNESBURG - The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) says that there is a sophisticated syndicate targeting South African motorists and gaining access to vehicles with dummy keys.

This emerged after some Ford drivers in Johannesburg raised the issue after falling victim to this method of crime.

Some drivers have claimed that the issues was specifically related to Ford vehicles.

In an attempt to find out if this was indeed the case, 702 host Bongani Bingwa attempted to get comment from Ford but the automaker sent a response saying that the issue is not unique to their brand and that it is a nationwide problem.

“At Ford, our customers’ safety and security are of utmost importance to us, which is why we take vehicle security seriously and invest heavily in security solutions to deter theft,” Ford said in a statement.

Bingwa also spoke to Mike Mabasa, executive director of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), about how widespread the problem of car theft using dummy electronic keys is in South Africa.

Mabasa said it was true that the issue is not necessarily confined to Ford vehicles, adding that vehicle theft and hijacking continue to be a major challenge in South Africa.

He added that there are a lot of scams in the market and that the one that’s been mentioned is one of many other initiatives by criminals that the association is aware of and that they're interacting with manufacturers to make sure that they are in a position to strengthen the industry.

Mabasa said that police have dealt with several cases related to Ford incidents.

He said that other brands, such as VW, are also targeted and it also depends on which areas one is looking at.

“It’s a syndicate operation because these are not your ordinary thieves. It is people who are sophisticated, who understand how vehicles operate and many of whom have inside information on some of the vehicle tracking devices and they know how these particular devices operate and are structured,” Mabasa said.

For more information listen to the audio.

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