Pretoria, 14 March 2017: The South African Police Service is pleased to report progress on the significant breakthrough in the highly organised OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) heist which took place on Tuesday, 7th March 2017.
Let us firstly use this opportunity to commend and express our appreciation to the multidisciplinary team of the South African Police Service and the Hawks, including the relevant stakeholders, which have been instrumental in ensuring a thorough investigation following the heist/armed robbery last week . The hard work and dedication of the team has resulted in the gathering of intelligence and subsequent arrest and questioning of suspects allegedly involved in the commission of this crime.
Our people and the nation were justified in the outcry and condemnation of the security breaches which manifested at OR Tambo International Airport, a national key point.
We had resolved as law enforcement agencies to work hard in ensuring that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to book.
Within a week of investigations and interviewing of people of interest pertaining to this case, we can confirm that four people have been taken in for questioning of which two appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court today in connection with this heist/armed robbery.
Two people are currently being questioned. It is highly regrettable that one of our own members is among the two. This confirms our version of not ruling out the possibility of collusion and/or an inside job.
As the South African Police Service we would like to reiterate our stance, that if we discover that any of our members had a role to play we would take decisive action.
Our investigations continue and further court appearances and arrests are likely to be made.
The South African Police Service would like to reassure all South Africans that we are committed to securing our ports of entry and preventing and combating serious crimes of this nature.
In relation to the fourteen bodies that were found on the 5th and 6th of March in the vicinity of a railway line in Benoni, we have also made a significant breakthrough with the arrest of four people.
We can confirm that the victims and suspects are all Lesotho nationals.
One of the suspects was arrested in South Africa and three others were found in Lesotho.
We are at this stage in talks with Interpol to expedite extradition processes.
Unlicensed fire-arms that were found in the suspects’ possession in Lesotho are being subjected to forensic analysis.
We would like to encourage anyone with information to come forward and assist the South African Police Service in bringing all perpetrators of both crimes to book.