Police in Tonga made a massive breakthrough when four alleged vehicle smugglers were arrested.
A police firearm which was reported robbed in Dennilton during the escape from lawful custody in January this year (2023) was also recovered.
The arrest was executed in the early hours of 3 May 2023, at about 02:00.
The quartet was arrested at Kamaqhekeza outside Tonga. Police were patrolling around the area when they spotted a suspicious Toyota Fortuner parked at a certain guesthouse.
The vigilant members decided to launch an investigation.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the Toyota Fortuner was left by two unknown males, however there was a couple who booked in the same guest house who were in the company of the two males.
It also emerged that the couple was driving a VW Polo which was also parked in the same premises. Police noticed the VW Polo and their suspicions led them to conduct further investigation on the couple.
Police knocked at the room allocated to the couple and a male suspect opened the door. When he noticed the police, the suspect fled from his rented room and police gave a chase.
The suspect allegedly started firing gun shots at the police who returned with fire.
The suspect took a dive and police rushed to him. He sustained a gunshot wound on his right thigh and still holding a pistol on his right hand.
An ambulance was summoned to the scene and he was rushed to Tonga Hospital for medical treatment.
Members went back to the guest house to conduct a search in the room where the suspect was sleeping, they found a 30 year old woman who identified herself as the owner of the Polo. Her claims did not prevent the dedicated members from conducting further investigation on the vehicle which tested as positively stolen.
The woman was then arrested for possession of suspected stolen vehicle. The female suspect disclosed that they were with two other counterparts who were driving in the Toyota Fortuner, and she revealed that they slept in a different guesthouse.
She managed to identify the guesthouse. Police headed to the identified guesthouse where two suspects, aged 31 years and 37 were found in possession of the Toyota Fortuner keys.
They were both taken to the guesthouse to open the Toyota Fortuner.
On further investigation, the vehicle also tested positively stolen.
Both the suspects were arrested for possession of suspected stolen vehicle.
The vehicles were allegedly reported stolen from Witbank.
The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela commended members for the dedication displayed and hopes the arrest will help crack down the cross boarder vehicles smugglers.