Casino heist planned in KZN jail

2013-01-29 15:54

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Durban – The Carnival City Casino robbery in Johannesburg was allegedly planned in a prison cell in KwaZulu-Natal by a dangerous gang, a report said on Tuesday.

Informers at Westville Prison in Gauteng allegedly tipped off members of the disbanded Cato Manor Organised Crime Unit two weeks ago, a source told IOL.

Suspects allegedly told inmates in prison they were planning to rob a casino.

"They told inmates the rest of the gang was waiting for them in Gauteng and had vehicles and guns ready for the robbery."

The source told IOL the gang is extremely dangerous and there are between 20 and 25 members.

"They are extremely violent and will not hesitate to kill. According to the information we have gathered in the past two years, two policemen have been killed by the gang. They use high-calibre firearms such as R-5 rifles and AK47s," a police source said.


The gang is known for using a 10-pound hammer to break into safes in cash halls in casinos and banks. The same method was used in the Sibaya Casino robbery in 2010, IOL reported.

Only 6 main members of the gang are typically involved in a heist, with the others are guarded against any interruptions. “They shoot to kill," the source said.

"This gang always used a hammer man. He is never armed with a gun. He just wields a 10-pound hammer and will smash anything in his path. The gang's previous hammer man was shot a few years ago in a shoot-out with police. This is a new recruit."

Around 20 robbers stormed Carnival City Casino on Monday around 00:30 where they looted the safe and sped off with an undisclosed amount of money

They used a 10-pound hammer to smash glass partitions and steel bars. The hammer was found in an abandoned getaway vehicle.

Police spokesperson, Captain Julia Claassen, said the two security guards and a reservist police constable who were shot are in a critical condition in hospital.

Claassen said the men entered the casino through the staff entrance. They used five and were armed with AK47s and R-5s.

"A provincial task team is working closely with Brakpan police and other resources to investigate the robbery. Further details cannot be divulged at this stage," she told IOL.

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