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Man in court for foiled bid to smuggle Toyota Hilux stolen in Pretoria to Zimbabwe via Beitbridge

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A 33-year-old man, Vincente Sebastiao “Deco” Khoza, has appeared before the Modjadjiskloof Periodical Court after he was arrested by the Musina-based Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks.

Khoza was arrested by the elite crime-busting unit’s serious organised crime investigation division members for possession of a suspected stolen vehicle.

“Members of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation in Limpopo province have been investigating the smuggling of suspected stolen vehicles from South Africa into the neighbouring countries through Beitbridge port of entry,” Hawks Limpopo spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Matimba Maluleke narrated.

“During September 2023, Modjadjiskloof police were conducting a stop and search operation when they saw a suspicious vehicle, a Toyota (Hilux) GD6 bakkie, and they tried to stop it.”

Vincente Sebastiao “Deco” Khoza was arrested after he allegedly tried to smuggle a stolen Toyota Hilux GD6 to Zimbabwe via the Beitbridge border post. Picture: Hawks

The driver of the vehicle reportedly sped off, and as a result, a high-speed pursuit ensued until the person driving the Toyota bakkie abandoned the vehicle on the R81 Road near Mooketsi.

As the investigation continued, it was established that the vehicle was stolen in Brooklyn, Gauteng, in 2023.

Vincente Sebastiao “Deco” Khoza was arrested after he allegedly tried to smuggle a stolen Toyota Hilux GD6 to Zimbabwe via the Beitbridge border post. Picture: Hawks

“Through the Hawks’ meticulous investigation, the accused was linked to the crime, and he is believed to be part of the syndicate(s) responsible for smuggling stolen vehicles. After a warrant of arrest was authorised against the accused, he was arrested at Soshanguve Magistrate’s Court, where he was appearing for being in possession of a vehicle jamming device,” said Maluleke.

“It is believed that the recovered stolen vehicle, the Toyota Hilux GD6 bakkie, was meant to be smuggled to Zimbabwe through the Beitbridge port of entry.”

When Khoza appeared in court on Tuesday, his case was rolled over to Wednesday for further investigation.

Vincente Sebastiao “Deco” Khoza. Picture: Hawks

Last year, the regional court in Mokopane, in Limpopo, convicted and sentenced a 35-year-old South African man who was arrested while attempting to smuggle a stolen vehicle, a silver Toyota Fortuner, to Zimbabwe.

At the time, Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba, police spokesperson in Limpopo, said Shane Mthombeni was sentenced to six years of direct imprisonment without the option to pay a fine.

“The court heard that the South African citizen, Shane Mthombeni was intercepted by police while driving a silver motor vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner, at Nyl Toll Plaza along the N1 Highway on Monday, October 30,” Mashaba said.