Four Eastern Cape men in dock for allegedly stealing platinum plates worth R6.3m

11th July 2023 By: News24Wire

The Hawks have arrested four employees of a German car part manufacturer in Gqeberha for allegedly stealing platinum plates worth R6.3 million and selling them to scrap metal dealers.

Minileit, the Gqeberha branch of Germany-based ISOLITE, is the largest supplier of exhaust systems to Mercedes-Benz SA and Volkswagen Group SA plants in the Eastern Cape.

The men were arrested on Friday by the Gqeberha Serious Commercial Crime Investigation unit in collaboration with the Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

The accused - Ronaldo Henry Jason, 52, Ruwayne Eddie Luppan, 35, Roual Rowell Shelby Martin, 30, and Quewin Kirsten September, 25 - stand accused of theft and for contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

Between 1 April 2021 and 31 May 2022, the four accused allegedly acted in a common purpose to misappropriate platinum plate stock and sold it unlawfully to nearby scrap metal business, the Hawks said in a statement.

"It is further reported that all the accused successfully sold platinum plates for their personal gain and cash was directed into their pockets.

"The company conducted its internal investigation then 'red flags' were picked up," said Hawks spokesperson Warrant Officer Ndiphiwe Mhlakuvana.

Mhlakuvana added the company opened a case with the Hawks after conducting an internal investigation.

"It is further reported that more investigations were conducted and revealed that the company suffered a loss of over R6.3-million."

All four accused briefly appeared in the Gqeberha Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Friday and were released on R500 bail each.

The case was the postponed to 20 July for legal representation.