MTN South Africa said on Wednesday that inroads are being made in the fight against battery theft at its base stations and that police are making progress in shutting down the syndicates behind the scourge.
Seven individuals have been arrested, while a total of 55 batteries have been recovered in recent days. Four vehicles with tools were confiscated in a series of operations across the country, it said.
“In one of the biggest hauls to date, members of the South African Police Service arrested a suspect at Beit Bridge in possession of 32 batteries. His vehicle, including a trailer, was also impounded.”
In a separate operation in Greytown in Kwa-Zulu Natal, three suspects were apprehended after a tip-off while they were still inside the perimeter of the base station.
Two vehicles with false licence plates were recovered at the scene, including the tools the suspects used to break in. The suspects have been detained and have been positively linked to other cases, MTN said.
In another multi-party operation, MTN’s security and the the police apprehended three suspects after a tip-off from another operator. A total of 16 MTN batteries were subsequently recovered.
“We are encouraged with the breakthrough we are making in the fight against vandalism and the theft of telecommunications infrastructure; all the hard work is finally yielding results,” said Ernest Paul, MTN GM for network operations.
“MTN will continue to collaborate with other telecommunications companies to clamp down on the scourge of battery theft, which is costing mobile network operators millions of rand and depriving consumers access to communication services.” — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media