Monday, 15 February 2021
Smithfield: Two suspects aged 34 and 40 were arrested by Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit of Wepener after two months of thorough investigation that took place between Free State, Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces between December 2020 and February 2021.
Two suspects were arrested after they were found in possession of sheep that were defrauded from the owner of a farm near Smithfield, Free State. At total of 561 sheep out of 800 were recovered by police.
The suspects acted on false pretences as they claimed to be representing a certain bank that works with farmers and they entered into a business deal with the farm owner that involves 1000 ewes and 300 rams valued at R4.9 million.
The famer signed on the dotted line and he then delivered the livestock (800 sheep) to Machado (Louis Trichardt), Limpopo as per the agreement with the bank (suspects). He became suspicious when no money was deposited into his bank account for the delivery he made.
He decided to call the suspects and they were not available on their cellular phones and he contacted the bank direct. He was told the bank had no business with him. That is when the police were involved.
One suspect was arrested in December 2020 at Giyani, Limpopo and he has since appeared before court and granted R10 000 bail with strict conditions.
The two suspects will appear in the Smithfield Magistrates’ Court today, Monday, 15 February 2021 on charges of fraud and stock theft.