Police warn against diamond smuggling


Pascalinah Kabi

POLICE have issued a stern warning to the public to desist from diamond smuggling activities.

The warning comes after three men were recently arrested in Mokhotlong on suspicion of involvement in diamond smuggling activities.

The arrest was made after two of the suspects reported the third to the Mokhotlong police for allegedly selling them a fake diamond priced at M10 000.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Clifford Molefe said one of the suspects is a Nigerian national residing in the Gauteng province of South Africa.

“One of the two Basotho men arrested by Mokhotlong police is the owner of this diamond. He allegedly sold the diamond to the Nigerian man for M10 000,” Supt Molefe said, adding “the second Mosotho man was travelling with the Nigerian man who illegally bought the diamond.”

Supt Molefe said all hell broke loose the day after the transaction when the two buyers went to Mokhotlong police station to open a case against the seller, accusing him of selling a fake diamond.

“The police arrested all of them as it is illegal to sell and buy diamonds without proper documentation,” Supt Molefe said, adding the three suspects would appear in court immediately after the Christmas break.

Meanwhile, police have arrested three suspected armed robbers who recently made off with M800 000 cash after they allegedly attacked a cash-in-transit vehicle at the traffic lights near Letšeng Diamonds offices in Maseru.

The suspects are Bosofo Khaupane (27), Teboho Mokone (37) and Pinki ‘Mako-Ramoi (29).

“The three were allegedly travelling in a 4+1 vehicle when they attacked the vehicle transporting money to the bank. They robbed the driver M800 000 at gunpoint and fled with the money,” Supt Molefe said.

“They briefly appeared in court on December 30 and were remanded in custody. The fourth suspect, aged 55, from Moshoeshoe II will appear in court on January 11,” he said, adding only M93 000 was recovered from the suspects.

Family remanded in custody

The Thaba-Tseka magistrates’ court recently remanded six family members facing murder charges in custody.

Thabang Ngate(55), ‘Masekele Mokhothu (66), Hloekileng Mokhothu (40), Thapelo Piti (50), Sebokane Mokhothu (19) and Lichaba Mokhothu (19) – all from Ha Khoanyane in Thaba-Tseka stand accused of murdering a 29-year-old man on December 24.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Clifford Molefe said police reports suggested that the six went to their daughter-in-law’s house where they found the deceased sleeping in the house.

He said the six suspected that the man was in a love-triangle with their daughter-in-law and thereafter they allegedly assaulted the deceased resulting in his death.

“All six appeared in court on December 28 and were remanded in custody. They will reappear in court on January 4,” Supt Molefe said.

He said it was worrying that members of the public continued to take the law into their own hands despite public awareness campaigns urging them to report such matters to relevant authorities.

He encouraged public to report any purported criminal matters to village gatekeepers, the police and other relevant authorities.






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