7 SANDF soldiers arrested for cross-border smuggling charged with fraud

Authorities said that over the past year, the soldiers allegedly accepted bribes to allow stolen cars to cross the border to Zimbabwe.

FILE: SANDF uniform. Picture: Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Seven SANDF members arrested for cross-border smuggling have been formally charged with six counts of fraud.

They appeared in the Musina Magistrates Court on Wednesday after they were arrested in a joint operation by police in the Free State, North West and the Northern Cape last week.

The seven suspects, aged between 31 and 51, were arrested in a two-day cross-border operation after the Hawks received a tip-off.

Authorities said that over the past year, the soldiers allegedly accepted bribes to allow stolen cars to cross the border to Zimbabwe.

Police have been closing in on the syndicate after they were deployed to the Beit Bridge border post.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)’s Mashudu mMlabi-Dzhangi: "It is alleged that the members took bribes of R15,000 per vehicle in order to assist syndicate members to cross the border to Zimbabwe through the Limpopo River."

The suspects’ military rank ranged from lance-corporal to private.

They will return to court next week Monday for a formal bail application.

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