Foreign duo nabbed with stolen GD6

Gofaone Koogotsitse

Two foreign nationals, a camera man at Black Ants in South Africa and a male taxi driver from Maseru, Lesotho, have been granted bail by a Molepolole Magistrates’ Court after being caught with a stolen Toyota GD6 vehicle from South Africa last month.

The suspects Lethabo Phohu Manala aged 32 and 49-year-old Thabo Griffths Mpeli from Lesotho are each facing a single count of being found in possession of goods suspected to be stolen outside Botswana.

The duo was arrested near Thamaga village on May 12th, 2024, midday after the police received a report and deployed a team to hunt for the suspects.

Earlier on, during arraignment on May 14th, 2024, the investigating officer Detective Superintendent Andrew Mbazo from Serious Crime Squad said they received information that the vehicle was heading towards Jwaneng and later made a U-turn in Sese heading to Kanye and was later intercepted in Thamaga.

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“After the two were arrested we commenced investigations with my counterparts in South Africa. Investigations revealed that it’s a duplicated motor vehicle. Accused 1 (Manala) claimed ownership, I also received information from Pretoria with similar details that the accused had. The information has the names of the lawful owner,” explained Detective Superintendent Mbazo.

He also revealed that the original registration number was tempered with and was replaced with a different number.

The investigating officer has pleaded with the court for the accused to be remanded in custody as they needed more time to collect information and also to invite police in South Africa to accompany the owner.

Though Principal Magistrate Solomon Setshedi had earlier ruled in favour of the state, denying the foreign nationals bail fearing they might abscond, last week when the accused availed their attorney, he granted them a conditional bail.

They were ordered to bind themselves with the sum of P10, 000 each, provide one surety each binding himself with the same amount and surrender their travelling documents to Thamaga police.

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Manala and Mpeli will appear for next mention on October 21st, 2024.

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