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5 arrested for murder, hijacking following Cape Town cigarette van heist

By Faeza
06 April 2017

Five suspects have been arrested in connection with the killing and hijacking of a cigarette delivery van security guard, an incident said to be part of a fight for control of the illicit cigarette trade.

On Monday Eldridge Lucas, 60, was shot dead in Hanover Park.

Cigarettes and two firearms were stolen from the cigarette delivery van he was in.

News24 understands that more than a dozen men, in two bakkies and a car, were involved in the heist.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut on Thursday said that five suspects, aged between 26 and 35 years, were subsequently arrested on Wednesday.

They are expected to appear in the Athlone Magistrate's Court on Friday on charges of murder and hijacking.

"We are far from done with our investigation and more suspects are sought in connection with this incident," Traut said.

He said the five suspects arrested on Wednesday were tracked to hideouts in Delft and Nyanga.

Police attached to the vehicle crime investigation unit and the hijacking task team helped trace them.

"The two vehicles used during the hijacking, a VW Golf and an Isuzu LDV, which was reported stolen in Kraaifontein earlier this month, were both confiscated," Traut said.

More violence expected

Lucas was killed three days after Fancy Boys gang leader Shamiel Eyssen, 45, was gunned down in Bishop Lavis, because he was apparently owed money in a major cigarette deal.

Either some or all of the money he was owed was not paid to him and the businessman who was meant to pay it is now on the run, according to sources.

Eyssen's murder is also apparently linked to a major battle for control of the club security business in Cape Town as he was connected to an older faction which previously dominated the scene and which is now being toppled by a newer faction.

The same figures involved in the club security industry are said to also be operators in the illicit cigarette trade.

According to sources, Eyssen's killing was linked to a cigarette delivery truck that was recently hijacked in Woodstock.

They say the businessman now said to be on the run was meant to pay for the stolen loot but either did not pay at all or only paid a fraction of what he was meant to.

Eyssen was therefore, according to sources, killed so that he would no longer have to be paid.

They said his murder sparked anger within the illicit cigarette trade and more violence is expected.

Source: News24