The Hawks in conjunction with crime intelligence have delivered a big blow against serious violent crime following the seizure of explosives in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West and Gauteng.

At least 13 suspects aged between 20 and 53 were arrested in what it is considered a significant breakthrough in the fight against ATM bombings and cash in transit heists in the country.

In April this year, the Gauteng National Bureau for Illegal Firearm Control and Priority Violent Crime Unit (NBIFCPVC) and crime intelligence jointly registered a project to address the unlawful dealing of commercial explosives.

A number of undercover operations were held stretching across the four provinces which culminated in the apprehension of the suspects and the removal of an assortment of commercial explosives.

The operation began two weeks ago (2018-11-14) where six suspects were arrested in Steelpoort, Limpopo allegedly with R400 000 worth of commercial explosives.

The six suspects alleged mine workers aged between 20 and 40 years appeared at the Praktiseer Magistrate Court on 13 charges of dealing in commercial explosives. They are expected to appear today to apply for bail.

Last week Thursday, the team arrested a 38 year old suspect on two charges of dealing in commercial explosives. He appeared in the Westonaria Magistrate Court the following day and was remanded in custody. He is expected to appear at the same court today.

On Tuesday this week, the team added two more individuals to their list of suspects in Mpumalanga. These two suspects both aged 29 were allegedly found with R25 000 worth of commercial explosives.

They appeared at the Delmas Magistrate Court on Wednesday and their matter has been postponed to 03 December 2018 where they are expected to apply for bail.

The operation culminated with the arrest of four suspects aged between 40 and 53 years in Rustenburg, North West, yesterday. Almost R200 000 worth of commercial explosives were allegedly confiscated. The suspects will make their first appearance today at the Rustenburg Magistrate court today.

During the operation, the members recovered 2271 units of commercial explosives components which include blasting cartridges, stinger booster caps, shock tube assemblies, safety cap fuses and a dot cord.

The National Head of the Hawks Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya has congratulated the team on the arrests.

“We shall not stop to visit all those who engage in illegal activities on commercial explosives. We call upon all those who are privileged to control these explosive to do so diligently. Never allow a single cartridge to land into the hands of an unauthorised person,” said Lieutenant General Lebeya