FOUR Transnet employees based in Koedoespoort Depot in Silverton were arrested on Monday for alleged copper theft.

Spokeswoman Colonel Katlego Mogale said the Hawks started investigating in February after it emerged there were incidents of copper cable theft at the depot.

She said intelligence gathered revealed the loot was apparently being sold at scrap metals around Tshwane.

“The four suspects, aged between 34 and 40, are expected to appear again in the Pretoria Magistrates Court today (Wednesday),” she said.

Meanwhile, the team previously arrested three suspects for possession of suspected stolen copper cables worth about R1,9 million, and tempering or damaging essential infrastructure.

This was after authorities received intelligence about suspects delivering stolen copper wires at an identified scrapyard in Hercules, west of Tshwane.

“A truck fitting the description was spotted near the said scrapyard,” said Mogale.

“The resultant search uncovered copper cables valued at a substantial amount. Three occupants were arrested on the scene.”

Further investigation led the team to a plot in Heatherdale near Akasia, where they recovered a drum with rolled-up copper, also suspected to have been stolen at the same depot.

“Scrap metal owners Frans Albert (59) and Andries Lombard (51) later handed themselves over to authorities, accompanied by their legal representatives.

“The group including four Transnet employees Dedrick Mhlaba (38), Xolane Mthembu (32), Keketso Mokoena (32) and Kgothatso Mokgobokwane (31), who were arrested in the follow-up operation on 24 February, has since appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates Court,” she said.

She said they were out on varying bail amounts.

Gauteng head of the directorate for priority crime investigation, Major-General Ebrahim Kadwa, appealed to the public to report any suspicious activity relating to essential infrastructure.