Two people have been arrested for the possession of sheep believed to have been defrauded from a farm owner in Smithfield, Free State.
After a two-month-long investigation, the Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit of Wepener arrested the suspects for the possession of stolen sheep.
“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,” Brigadier Motantsi Makhele says.
“The farmer 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),” Makhele adds.
The farmer became suspicious after no money was deposited in their account and could not reach the suspects on the cell numbers provided. The farmer then approached the bank the suspects mentioned and contacted the police after the bank told them they had no business with him.
One suspect was arrested in Giyani during December 2020 and was granted R10 000 bail with strict conditions at his court appearance.
Police managed to recover 561 of the 800 sheep.
The two suspects were expected to appear in the Smithfield Magistrates’ Court on charges of fraud and stock theft today.