POLICE in Botswana have confirmed the arrest of nine Zimbabwean males and a Motswana in that country on Tuesday morning after the suspects were found in possession of 15 mobile communication tower batteries belonging to different companies.
The Botswana Police Service director of crime intelligence, Senior Assistant Commissioner, Nunu Lesetedi, in a statement, confirmed the arrest of 10 men who were in possession of 15 mobile network batteries worth thousands of dollars at a police roadblock in Dibete.
“The suspects comprised nine Zimbabwean male citizens and one Motswana male citizen aged between 37 and 42 years who were intercepted on their way from Gaborone to the north. The suspects are still in police custody while investigations are continuing,” Lesetedi said.
Cases of vandalism of communication network equipment and infrastructure in Botswana are reported to be on the increase with thieves targeting batteries and copper cables for resell.
A battery vandalised from a communication tower is reported to fetch US$2 000 on the black market.
Communities, individual customers and small businesses in affected areas are reported to be struggling to access mobile telephone network as well as banking services as the theft of the batteries comes with extensive damage to the entire network infrastructure.