Syndicate bust for supplying explosives to criminals

By Everson Luhanga

A syndicate believed to be selling and supplying explosives to cash-in-transit armed robbers, ATM bombers and illegal mining suspects has been nabbed. 

National police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said three men and a woman were arrested in Welkom, Free State, during an operation by Eastern Cape crime intelligence, members of the National Intervention Unit from Pretoria and the SAPS Free State explosives unit on Wednesday afternoon.

“The suspects are believed to be involved in several cases where explosives were used in the commission of crimes such as ATM bombings, cash-in-transit heists and illicit mining activities in the Free State, Eastern Cape, North West and Gauteng,” Mathe said. 

“The suspects were found with 40 explosives and several explosives accessories.” 

The four suspects are expected to appear before the Welkom Magistrate’s Court on Friday 23 February on charges relating to contravening the Explosives Act 26 of 1956. 

Mathe said the police’s Operation Shanela had led to the seizure of 11,481 explosives in roadblocks, tracing and stop-and-search operations since May last year.

She said 173 suspects were arrested in the same period for the illegal possession of explosives. 

Pictured above: The arrested suspects.

Image source: SAPS 


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