South Africa 6.6.2018 05:12 pm

159 cash-in-transit heists this year, but Cele has a plan

Police minister Bheki Cele during a media briefing at Leriba Lodge in Centurion where he announced a nationwide strategy to focus on cash-in-transit robberies, 6 June 2018, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Police minister Bheki Cele during a media briefing at Leriba Lodge in Centurion where he announced a nationwide strategy to focus on cash-in-transit robberies, 6 June 2018, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The police minister believes progress is being made, with a second-in-command syndicate kingpin and 13 suspects arrested in less than 24 hours.

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) today said the number of cash-in-transit heists for the first six months of 2018 had seen a marked increased compared to 2017, with 159 robberies robberies reported in the first two quarters of this year.

Sabric’s Kevin Twiname said several robberies took place when cash-in-transit vehicles were doing pick ups and drop offs.

Of the 71 attacks that took place in transit, 49 resulted in the write-off of specialised vehicles that cost between R1.1 million and R1.4 million each.

“We do not reveal how much cash has been lost, but the cost of vehicles lost about R67 million so far this year.”

Minister of police Bheki Cele said some weapons which have been recovered during the cash-in-transit heists belong to police and the army.

“There are SAPS members who have been arrested for cash-in-transit robberies. We won’t sit here and deny their involvement,” Cele said.

He said foreign nationals have also been arrested for their involvement in the heists.

Cele was speaking at a media briefing today addressing the recent increase in cash-in-transit heists, together with Sabric and the Federation of Unions of South Africa.

The minister said he believed police were making progress in apprehending suspects involved in the heists.

“In less than 24 hours we have arrested 13 suspects. We have also arrested the second-in-command kingpin in the cash-in-transit syndicate. I am not going to name him but he’s with us.”

Cele said they have raised the issue of bail for suspects with the minister of justice as some of the criminals continue with their criminal activity after being released.

“There was a criminal we arrested who once had been out on bail 41 times before.”

Cele said cash heists, gangsterism, political killings, taxi violence, kidnappings and the killing of women and children killings would be prioritised.

African News Agency (ANA)

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