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Road to a Fast Buck

NCJ Number
Siyaya! Issue: 5 Dated: Winter 1999 Pages: 26-33
Hein Marais
Janine Rauch
Date Published
8 pages
The effectiveness of the South African Police Service in dealing with the problem of vehicle hijackings is examined.
There are two kinds of hijacking operations in South Africa; one is run by gangs and the other is controlled by syndicates. Syndicates work like mini-conglomerates, while gangs move around and focus more on the contents of a vehicle than the vehicle itself. Syndicates can be parochial or transnational, and they tend to buy from the same groups of hijackers. In addition, syndicates have a "kingpin" who works through a chain of lieutenants or representatives who arrange the details of hijackings. In the case of gangs, most members are young and conduct their operations primarily for personal gain and respect. Statistics indicate there were about 15,000 hijackings in South Africa in 1998. Trends in hijackings are reviewed, and police initiatives to deal with the problem are briefly described. 5 photographs