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SSA TRUCK DIVERTED, 34 TONNES OF SUGAR STOLEN

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MANZINI – The country’s ‘precious cargo’, sugar, in the form of 34 tonnes which was supposed to be delivered in one of the local reputable companies, was allegedly stolen last week.

The truck, which was from Swaziland Sugar Association (SSA), was carrying the 34 tonnes, which is about 300 bags of 50 kilogrammes of sugar, valued at over E200 000 and was headed to Matsapha when the incident allegedly occurred. Allegations are that one of the supervisors from the reputable company colluded with the driver of the truck and the security of the company on the day. Instead of the tonnes of sugar being delivered in Matsapha, it was allegedly diverted to other locations where all the sugar was later delivered. It was gathered from reliable sources that each of the people behind this incident was paid over E30 000 to conclude the deal and later deliver the sugar in different parts of the country using the same truck.

A team of police officers, led by Manzini Regional Crime Branch Officer (RCBO) Superintendent Clement Sihlongonyane and the Fraud Department boss, Sipho Methula, are currently conducting investigations. The two officers yesterday disclosed that they managed to recover about 102 bags of sugar which had already been sold to wholesalers in different parts of the country and the exhibits were taken. The places where the wholesalers are situated include, Nhlangano, KaNgcamphalala and Siphofaneni among others. The people who are alleged to have bought the recovered bags of sugar are currently being questioned by the team of police officers so as to apprehend suspects, it was gathered. “We would like to advise those who are still in possession of the bags of sugar which have not yet been recovered to contact the police for handovers because if the police find them in possession of such, they will be arrested,” Sihlongonyane said.

Meanwhile, Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Khulani Mamba confirmed the incident and said the police were concerned about the theft of sugar in the country as it contributed significantly to the country’s economic growth and development. “We strongly condemn such acts and if the suspects are found, they will be arrested and face the courts.” Superintendent Mamba said. He advised those who might have information which could lead to the arrest of the suspects and recovery of the other missing bags of sugar to contact their nearest police stations or contact Sihlongonyane (7612 7994), Methula (7612 8045) Fraud or alternatively the toll free numbers 999/9999. The stolen sugar is valued at over E200 000, the police further urged anyone offered large quantities of sugar through unconventional channels to also report to the police immediately. This is not the first time a truck with loads of sugar was diverted to other unknown destinations, it was gathered from the police yesterday that in February, this year, another truck was diverted from Eswatini to South Africa with tonnes of sugar.  The matter is currently being dealt with by the SAPS, Sihlongonyane confirmed.

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