SAPS: Rocket launcher not readily available on black market

2014-01-23 19:27
Johannesburg (File)

Johannesburg (File) (Shutterstock)

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Cape Town - Police, reacting to a tip-off, seized a sophisticated missile launcher and arrested two people in the Johannesburg CBD on Thursday.

The advanced rocket launcher is not generally available on the black market, said police spokesperson Solomon Makgale.

He told News24 the most important thing is that the rocket launcher is in police possession and has been removed from the streets. A high level investigation has been launched, but is still in the very early stages. Police do know the type and make of the missile system, but are withholding the information so as not to jeopardise the investigation, said Makgale. More arrests are expected.

At the time of the arrest police noticed a suspicious vehicle parked next to the car with the explosive materials. This car contained a stash of diamonds. Two people were taken in for questioning. Arrests are expected to be made.

A definite link between the two vehicles has not been confirmed, but the circumstances are suspicious, said Makgale. Police think they may have arrested the suspects before they could do the planned transaction.

"Our intelligence operatives responded to information that a sale of explosives was taking place in the Johannesburg CBD where they found a South African and a Mozambican seated in a grey Mercedes-Benz," Makgale said.  

The two men arrested with the rocket launcher were expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of unlawful possession of explosives.

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