Thursday, June 13, 2024

Police investigate mysterious disappearance of gov’t vehicles

Government’s security apparatus have been roped in to investigate a suspected incident of theft in which vehicles belonging to the Central Transport Organisation (CTO) mysteriously disappeared after being collected from the Botswana Defense Force (BDF) barracks in Glen Valley, where they were parked.

Sunday Standard investigations have revealed that the Botswana Police Service’s Serious Crime Squad has been roped in to investigate an incident in which a Ford Ranger and a Toyota Land Cruiser, both of belonging to the CTO and worth lose to P1 million, mysteriously disappeared after they were collected by unknown individuals from the Glen Valley barracks.

The vehicles, all of them brand new, reportedly disappeared last month.

Tebo Dikole, Director of Protocol and Public Affairs at BDF, confirmed that the two cars belonged to CTO and were removed from their designated parking at Glean Valley barracks.

“We can confirm that a Ford Ranger and a Toyota Land Cruiser were withdrawn from the CTO parking lot on 30 and 31 July 2014 respectively. The usual proper procedures to withdraw the vehicles were followed, which included personal and written documents from CTO. It later resurfaced that the said vehicles never reached CTO, hence the matter was referred to Botswana Police Service,” he said.

He further explained that the CTO had asked to be allowed to park their vehicles at BDF because they had nowhere else to park them.

The vehicles were to be later distributed to various government departments and ministries.
However, BDF said they do not regard the incident as theft because all the necessity procedures and paper work were followed.

“No theft of vehicles has occurred in Glen Valley as you allude. We wish to reiterate that proper withdrawal procedures were followed when those vehicles were removed from our barracks. However, we were later told that the vehicles did not reach the intended destination,” Dikole said.

Speaking to this publication on a telephone interview, Major Fana Maswabi from the office of Protocol and Public Affairs also emphasized that as far as the BDF is concerned the vehicles were handed to authorized officials from CTO. However, Sunday Standard was not availed any documentation of the procedures to be followed when withdrawing vehicles from the army barracks.
The Botswana Police Service has also confirmed the two cases.

“Yes it is true we have such cases in our hands. We are still investigating the whereabouts of the two cars. We have also engaged Interpol to help us establish whether the vehicles ever crossed our borders,” said Senior Superintendent Near Bagali.

For his part, CTO General Manager Augur Malefho said his department has no information about what might have happened to the vehicles as the police are still investigating. Asked whether his department authorized anyone to withdraw the cars from the army barracks, Malefho said he could not tell if there was ever any authorization from his department until he was briefed by the police.

He added that the process of tracking the vehicles was on-going, but refused to divulge the name of the company that had been engaged to installing tracking devices in their vehicles.


Read this week's paper