By SA News
South Africa’s Police Minister Bheki Cele has welcomed the arrest of nine cash-in-transit heist suspects on Friday.
The suspects were arrested in Riviera Park in the North West after the Mafikeng Tactical Response Team (TRT) received a tip-off from Crime Intelligence.
Police spokesperson Vish Naidoo said the suspects were in the midst of planning a cash-in-transit robbery.
Six firearms, including one AK-47 rifle, handguns, an Uzi and several rounds of ammunition were recovered during the operation. A fleet of luxury vehicles, among them a black Jeep, an Audi Q5, a Mercedes ML and a Ford Ranger, was also recovered.
“Earlier today, the team acted on information that a group was gathered at a house in Riviera…where they were planning a heist. While at the house arresting six suspects, four more suspects arrived. They noticed the presence of the police and fled, resulting in a high speed car chase. During the chase, police fired shots at the suspect vehicle forcing it to a halt,” Naidoo said.
A further three suspects were arrested while the fourth escaped.
The major breakthrough is the latest following the arrest of 12 suspects in Midrand a week ago. They also allegedly planned a cash-in-transit heist.
Naidoo said police were investigating a docket of conspiracy to commit robbery, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition. A case of possession of suspected stolen motor vehicles was also being registered.
The firearms recovered at the house will be sent for ballistic testing to establish if they were used to commit other crimes.
Cele said the arrests reaffirmed the police’s commitment to ensuring the creation of a safe and secure South Africa.
“Crime prevention is a national priority. As we approach the festive season, we are more than ready as the South African Police Service to take on any act of criminality.
“Our mission of zero tolerance to criminality is in full gear. All our members are on high alert to squeeze the space for criminals and to prevent and solve crime,” he said.
“We will as the South African Police Service continue to ensure we put a permanent stop to the scourge of cash in transit crimes. We are very serious about turning the tide and we will not rest until we win the war on criminals,” the Minister said.