Thieves tunnel in, steal R300,000 in booze
Solid concrete was no deterrent for thieves who tunnelled into a Johannesburg liquor store during lockdown, stealing R300,000 in whisky, brandy, gin, ciders, vodka and beer. Shoprite said the theft from the Shoprite LiquorShop in Newtown Junction took place during lockdown levels 4 and 5, when the sale of alcohol was prohibited. The manager discovered the theft, and a large hole in the floor, on Friday when she returned to prepare for the store’s reopening under level 3 on Monday. "The suspects avoided the mall’s main entrance and instead used electrical and stormwater tunnels beneath the shopping centre to gain access to an area beneath the store. They then tunnelled through the solid concrete floor directly into the shop,” said Shoprite. It is unclear how the thieves knew where to tunnel, nor how long it took to get through the thick concrete floor, but they returned a few times to steal a large amount of stock.
It’s the return of the croon-a-virus
As sacred as the pub is to Britons and the church to Americans, Japan's karaoke boxes are once again throwing open their doors to anyone - regardless of ability - who has the urge to sing. While the Japanese government still recommend that karaoke boxes remain closed out of concern that people singing in enclosed spaces are more likely to share the coronavirus, the vast majority of cities and prefectures across the country on Wednesday gave operators the green light for the crooning to resume. – © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)
Hawks arrest trio who ‘sold land on behalf of chief’
An undercover Hawks operation has led to the arrest of three suspects who were allegedly selling parcels of land illegally in the Vuwani area of Limpopo for R3,500 each. They allegedly impersonated a chief in the village, outside Thohoyandou. “The team caught the suspects in the act” on Saturday, the Hawks said. The suspects are expected to make their first appearance in the Vuwani Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of fraud and impersonation.
Ewe won’t believe this cotton-picking idea
A Singaporean minister has sheepishly admitted to saying cotton came from animals rather than plants in a slip-up during an interview that triggered bleats of mockery online. Trade and industry minister Chan Chun Sing made the error in a video interview on Saturday while attempting to explain tiny Singapore's reliance on foreign trade. He gave face masks - which are widely used in the city state to fight coronavirus - as an example, suggesting there were not many components that Singapore could produce itself. “[We] don't have too many sheeps in Singapore to produce cotton," he said. - AFP
Forex airport smuggler hit with R1.2m order
More than R1m in foreign currency, smuggled in a secret luggage compartment by a passenger at OR Tambo International Airport, has been forfeited to the state. The forfeiture order against Abdul Qadir Yousuf, 47, was granted by the South Gauteng High Court, the Hawks said on Monday. Yusuf was arrested by customs authorities in February 2019 at the airport's check-in area bound for Dubai. "Upon searching his luggage, authorities discovered $68,468 and €1,500 in a secret compartment," said Capt Ndivhuwo Mulamu. He was charged with contravening the Customs and Excise Act, and money laundering. "He was found guilty and sentenced to two years' imprisonment or a R15,000 fine by the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court in November  in line with the provisions of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA)."
Talkie walkies kicked to the kerb
It’s seen the world over: pedestrians glued to their phones while walking, causing collisions and sometimes accidents. No more, says one Japanese city. Officials in Yamato city, near Tokyo, have submitted a bill to the city assembly to stop people from using their phones while walking. "The number of people using smartphones has rapidly increased and so have the number of accidents" in the densely populated area, city official Masaaki Yasumi said. ”We want to prevent that," he said, adding if passed it would be the first such ban in Japan. There would be no punishment, but “we hope the ban will raise more awareness about the dangers”. - AFP