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Cops nab 85-year-old prime suspect in KZN land sale scam

23 November 2018 - 11:53 By TimesLIVE
An 85-year-old man was arrested in connection with a land invasion investigation in KwaZulu-Natal.
An 85-year-old man was arrested in connection with a land invasion investigation in KwaZulu-Natal.
Image: jirkaejc/123RF

An 85-year-old man has been arrested for trying to sell private land to undercover police officers.

The man was arrested on Thursday in a joint operation set up by a provincial task team probing land invasions on farms, with specialised units from Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

KZN police said on Friday that farm owners in the Inanda area had opened a number of cases during 2017 and 2018.

“The cases were handed over to the provincial task team after it was brought to the attention of the acting provincial commissioner that there was no progress with regards to the investigations into these cases,” said police spokesman Brigadier Jay Naicker.

“Following a protracted investigation, which included the involvement of the office of the deputy director of public prosecutions in KZN, a controlled operation was conducted and the suspect sold private land to police agents for R20,000.

“The suspect and his associates were fingered in the investigation and are linked to 19 cases, including theft, trespassing, malicious damage to property, intimidation and fraud.

"His associates fled when they received news of his arrest at the Mzinyathi area in Inanda. Police are currently looking for two more suspects,” said Naicker.

The man is expected to appear in the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court on Friday to face charges of fraud and malicious damage to property. More charges may be added.

Police urged his alleged associates to hand themselves over.

“We are also appealing to those that bought land illegally in that area to come forward as soon as possible and cooperate with the investigating officers," said Naicker.

Those who have information that is pertinent in this investigation are requested to contact the investigating officer, Detective Warrant Officer Mlungwana, on 082 662 7764.