Minister Mthethwa lauds Emperors arrest

By Drum Digital
29 April 2013

The arrest of 15 men intent on robbing Emperors Palace casino on the East Rand reflected police precision, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Monday.

"Through their different policing expertise, our teams were able to succeed...," he said in a statement.

"It should also be emphasised that police were faced with suspects who were determined to rob and in the process would not have hesitated to kill our officers or even innocent civilians."

He said this would send a message to criminals that police would not hesitate to protect citizens.

"The success of this operation has demonstrated that we have the capacity to make a significant impact on crime," Mthethwa said.

"Now more than ever as government we are working tirelessly to make life difficult for criminals in our midst."

Police spokesman Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said the 15 men would appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

They were arrested on Sunday after police at the casino received a tip-off that 19 men were planning to rob the venue.

Police confronted a group of men at the entrance and a shootout ensued. Two of the men were wounded, while three others were arrested. The two were under police guard at a local hospital.

Dlamini said a stray bullet grazed the head of a five-year-old girl inside the casino's hotel. She was also rushed to a nearby hospital.

Police chased another group of five men in a car near the casino. All were arrested. Police searched for the nine men around the hotel and casino, and arrested five more.

-Sapa

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