Police on the Copperbelt have arrested 19 youths and a mastermind who diverted a truck loaded with 32 bags of copper concentrates weighing 32,000 kgs.

Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga said the truck was diverted at Markov Mining Plant which belongs to Shawi Fawazi.

She explained that the truck was coming from Chinsenda Mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo and destined for Chambeshi Copper Smelter before it was diverted.

“Theft of goods in transit (being Copper concentrates) occurred on Sunday September 23, 2018 at about 21:30 hours at Markov Mining Plant which belongs to Shawi Fawazi situated in the Chingola-Kalulushi road in Kalulushi district. In which a volvo truck registration number ACL 6776 and ACR 321 T property of Dhaqane logistics and construction of Ndola, which was carrying 32 bags of copper concentrates weighing 32,000 Kgs from Congo DR, Chinsenda Mines and was destined for CCS mine in Chambeshi area was diverted to the above mining plant by the driver Boyd Simukonda age and address not known yet of Ndola,” Katanga said.

“The escort security from panorama and others unknown.The same were intercepted when they had started off, loaded 6 bags of the 32 bags of the copper concentrates which they put in the processing machine after weighing it and replaced it with same weight of black soil. Police received a tip off as well as the owners of cargo management company also tracked the diverted truck via GPS which showed it had by passed CCS and entered Markov Mine Plant at about 19:30 hours.”

She said after the police raided the area, they found a group of about 40 youths who were hired to offload the concentrates.

Katanga said after noticing the presence of police, the youths scampered.

“After a raid, police found a group of about 40 youths who were hired to offload the concentrate manually as the folk lifter had broken down on the way to the plant. Seeing police presence, they scampered including the master minders who left behind 5 vehicles they were using. However, police managed to apprehend 19 suspects from the group including one master minder who are in detention at Kalulushi and Kitwe Central police stations. Vehicles abandoned includes a Rosa mini bus fleet no KTK 719 Registration number ACT 2507 which was hired to ferry the off loaders. Toyota Hilux BAF 7110 white in colour.Toyota Aley ALR 6517 Silver.Ford Ranger ABT 2642 White and a Toyota Chasser ACR 7739 Black in colour,” said Katanga.

“All the vehicles were towed and parked at Kitwe district police headquarters while there is a guard placed to guard the truck and the concentrates.”

This is the second time a truck is being diverted within two weeks after a Kitwe businessman Daniel Makina was arrested for robbing a truck loaded with Copper.