Zodidi Mhlana and Solly Makganoto
JOHANNESBURG- As law enforcement agencies begin to crack down on criminals, a total of R95 million has been recovered from cash-in-transit heists syndicates in Gauteng since January this year.
Speaking at the Gauteng legislature on Friday, Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said that 11 arrests had been made after 74 cash-in-transit heists had taken place in the province.
It was revealed that 52 suspects who were allegedly part of the robberies are still at large, while 24 suspects had been identified. A total of 9 AK 47’s, one R5, one R4, 11 9 mm firearms, two military bulletproofs and 16 vehicles used to commit cash-in-transit heists had also been recovered.
Nkosi-Molobane said that police visibility in hot spots would be an increase in the fight against such crimes.
She said that 7000 police officers were now involved in tackling cash-in-transit heists.
The MEC said that they were having talks with the mining sector after discovering that some of the explosives used in the cash-in-transit heists were sourced from the industry
“We are engaging with the mining companies, as bombs used to commit the crimes are from there. Some of the guns used are from the police station. We are also seeing the use of illegal guns, these are guns which should not be used in the country,” she said.
She said more informers should be recruited in combating robberies.
“The responsibility of crime intelligence is to expand the informers. We need more police informers both inside and outside prisons. Most of the heists are being planned in prisons. The Hawks are on board, they should be involved through the experience and networks they have,” she said.
Nkosi-Malobane said that legislation in how huge amount of cash should be handled.
South Africa has seen an increase in the number of cash-in-transit heists with a total of 159 robberies occurring over the last six months. Some police officers who were allegedly involved in the other heists have been nabbed. Police minister Bheki Cele this week said that an officer accused of taking R800 000 bribe from a syndicate has been apprehended.