Home South Africa Another truck driver arrested for stealing Eskom coal

Another truck driver arrested for stealing Eskom coal

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Eskom says another lorry driver delivering coal was arrested on Tuesday at the Camden power station after he was found with secondary coal.

“The truck belongs to a carrier contracted to deliver coal to Eskom,” the state-owned energy company said on Wednesday.

This comes after other truck drivers were arrested two weeks ago at the same power station in Mpumalanga when they were in possession of stolen coal.

“While the truck left the mine with the correct specification of coal, a switch to a lower quality coal took place at a known illegal coal pit in the area before the delivery was made to Camden Power Station,” Eskom explained.

During questioning, the truck driver admitted that he was allowed to leave the Wonderfontein Coal Mine by security officials without the tarpaulin on the truck being stamped with the prescribed seals and that the seals were left on his way out.

The driver was arrested and the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Ermelo opened a criminal case with various charges.

In addition, the truck and trailer were seized, Eskom said, adding that more arrests were expected.

The Bidvest Protea Coin Tactical Task Team, contracted by Eskom to investigate the theft of coal, diesel and fuel oil, discovered the truck as it was leaving an illegal coal site in Middelburg, according to the utility.

“The driver also claimed he had been instructed by a mine worker to go to an illegal coal yard in Middelburg and unload coal before going to Camden Power Station.”

It is alleged that the mine worker ordered the driver to deliver substandard coal from an illegal coal yard to Eskom.

The trailer was sealed at the illegal coal depot using issued seals after the coal was loaded and the driver went to the power plant to deliver the coal.

“The arrest of these unscrupulous individuals is an important step in our fight against crime at Eskom and we will continue our efforts to ensure that the perpetrators are faced with the full force of the law,” said Eskom’s General Manager of Security, Advocate Karen. Pillay.

The organization said Eskom’s security team, the Bidvest Protea Coin Tactical Task Force and the SAPS are working tirelessly to identify and dismantle criminal networks.

“This shows our determination to root out criminal elements from Eskom,” added Pillay.

In addition, the Bidvest Protea Coin investigator was offered a bribe of 50,000 rand for the release of the driver, which was duly rejected.

Eskom said coal stocks from contracted mines are pre-tested and certified by both parties.

“Coal delivery trucks should be checked on site and trailers should be sealed on site for safety purposes. The seals must remain intact until the truck reaches the Eskom power station, where it will be checked again for tampering before the coal is unloaded.”

However, Eskom said it had discovered that some criminal elements at mines, transporters and Eskom were deliberately circumventing these processes.

“Replacing quality coal with waste coal has a serious negative impact on plants and power plant production.”

In addition, Eskom has identified coal theft as a highly organized criminal activity where syndicates enrich themselves through the proceeds of the trade in stolen coal.

“Eskom continues to lose billions of rands due to the misappropriation of coal and similar commodities, which directly affects production. There are several illegal coal depots and dumps in the provinces that are recipients of stolen coal.”

Eskom is urging the public to report information about theft of coal, fuel oil and diesel to the Eskom Crime Line: 0800 11 27 22. – SAnews.gov.za

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