’53-year jail term of vehicle smuggler step in right direction’

The Cross-Border Road Transport Agency (C-BRTA) has welcomed the recent 53-year sentence handed to notorious cross-border vehicle hijacker and smuggler, Sipho Mhlanga.

Popularly known as Smirnoff among underworld criminal syndicates, Mhlanga was sentenced to 53 years by the Mtubatuba Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 19 June.

Hijacking and stealing vehicles

He is linked to a syndicate that would smuggle hijacked and stolen vehicles from SA to Mozambique. SAPS task team in Emanguzi has recovered 150 vehicles,93 were 4x4s

The CEO of the C-BRTA, Lwazi Mboyi, said the agency notes the progress registered by law enforcement authorities in the country in the fight against cross-border crimes.

“This is a step in the right direction because cross-border crimes and related syndicates frustrate South Africa’s efforts to improve and build a healthy trade between the country and neighbouring countries.

“It is for this reason that we commend the work that has been done thus far, and we would like to wish the South African Police well in their efforts to eliminate cross-border crimes,” Mboyi said in a statement on Sunday.
Clamping down on cross-border criminality

Mhlanga’s arrest and subsequent conviction followed “sterling work” by the South African Police Service (SAPS), who were deployed to the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal to clamp down on cross-border criminality.

“The C-BRTA, as the facilitator of the commercial transportation of passengers, goods and services across borders, welcomes and commends the SAPS for the work they have done in fighting and combating cross-border crimes in KwaZulu-Natal and in the country in general,”  the agency said.

The C-BRTA is a statutory body operating in a commercial environment, with government represented by the Minister of Transport being the shareholder.

The agency facilitates the unimpeded flow of freight and passenger cross-border movements and plays a critical role in the implementation of cross-border road transport agreements and issuing of cross-border operator permits.

– SAnews.gov.za



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