August 12, 2017 / 1:44 PM / in 2 months

Laptops stolen from South Africa's competition watchdog - statement

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Thieves have broken into the offices of South Africa’s Competition Commission, making off with laptop computers, the watchdog said on Saturday. It is the latest in a series of high-profile burglaries targeting law enforcement bodies.

A Microsoft Surface Book i7 laptop rests on a tabletop at an event in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

“There has been a security breach at the offices of the Competition Commission. Two laptops were stolen on Tuesday from the division responsible for investigations into cartel conduct,” head of communications Sipho Ngwema said in a statement.

The break-in came a few weeks after thieves stole two laptops from the state prosecutors’ offices.

The Competition Commission is responsible for investigating issues including cartel conduct and mergers and acquisitions, before bringing them to the Competition Tribunal for adjudication.

The case has been transferred to South Africa’s elite Hawks police unit for further investigation, Ngwema said.

“The Commission has taken the necessary measures and safeguards to enhance security,” he added.

Reuters could not immediately contact the Hawks for comment.

In July, burglars stole hard drives and other computer equipment from the Hawks. In March, 15 computers containing information on South Africa’s judges and court officials were stolen from the administrative offices of the Chief Justice.

Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Andrew Bolton

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