Police recover two R5 rifles and a pistol after intercepting a planned ATM bombing, 10 suspects nabbed
Police made a major breakthrough in mitigating robberies including the ones whereby police stations were targeted. As a result, the members reportedly intercepted a suspected ATM bombing in Vosman outside Witbank, Wednesday 26 October 2022. Members from Tactical Response Team (TRT) in Witbank in conjunction with members from Crime Intelligence in Witbank arrested 10 suspects aged between 25 and 62. Two R5 rifles, a 9mm pistol, ammunition as well as explosives were seized.
According to the report, this achievement came after members received information regarding a possible ATM bombing which was reportedly planned to take place at Arkerviĺle. An urgent plan was then made and members were placed at strategic spots accordingly. At about 01:30 am the men and women in Blue tactically moved to a certain house. Outside the house was a white Ford Ranger with Gauteng registration number plates with nine occupants inside. A search was conducted and that is when the two R5 rifles with ammunition as well as a 9mm pistol with ammunition were found. On further observations the astute members noticed that the serial numbers on the rifles were filed off.
The team then entered the house where they found a male person inside. The members searched the man and reportedly discovered some stained bank notes in his possession. A search was also conducted in the house whereby certain explosives were found in a black bag inside one of the bedrooms. Various chemicals were allegedly found as well in the house and the investigation will determine whether the chemicals were not used to clean the stained bank notes.
Preliminary investigation indicates that the recovered pistol belongs to the SAPS and it was reportedly stolen during a robbery at Grootvlei Police Station last month (September 2022). The suspects could be linked to an incident in which Devon Police Station (in Gauteng Province) was robbed of firearms earlier this month (October 2022). The arrested suspects are facing several charges, including being found in possession of unlicensed firearms with ammunition as well as illegal possession of explosives. Police cannot rule out the possibility of adding more charges in relation to the seized stained bank notes as the investigation continues. The suspects could possibly be linked to other crimes committed elsewhere. The suspects are expected to appear at the Emalahleni Magistrate’s Court soon.
The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has commended members for the sterling work. “We are very grateful for this outstanding achievement made by the members, more so with the recovery of firearms, some of which are suspected to have been stolen during robberies at police stations” said the General.
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