Diplomats robbed after being followed from OR Tambo airport

2016-09-21 16:28
OR Tambo airport (File, AFP)

OR Tambo airport (File, AFP)

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Johannesburg - A Kenyan diplomat was followed from the OR Tambo International Airport and robbed outside of an upmarket estate in Centurion at the end of last month.

News24 has reliably learnt that the minutes of a head's of state meeting, which the diplomat had attended in Nairobi days before, were taken during the robbery. President Jacob Zuma is said to have attended the meeting.

Two independent sources within the security industry confirmed that the diplomat was dropping off a government official who lived at the Eldoraigne Estate when they were held up at the end of August. The diplomat, his wife, a driver and the official were waiting to get into the estate when their car was ambushed by two armed men. A third man was driving the robbers' getaway car.

A man on a delivery bike from a pharmacy who was also waiting to get into the estate was hit and pushed inside the guard house. He was also robbed. Three guards at the gate were overwhelmed, made to lie on the ground and were robbed too.

"They were quick and ruthless," said a security expert. "They made the diplomat get out of the car and open the boot. They took everything in the car, including their suitcases."

The officials' laptops, cellphones and documents were also stolen.  

The sources said the robbery is believed to be related to a gang whose modus operandi includes following people home from the airport. They target visitors who are likely to carry dollars or other foreign currency.

A source said the incident was embarrassing for the country and police had been told to try and keep it under wraps.

Ugandan MPs robbed

News24 was referred to five different police spokespeople to get comment on the robbery. None of them supplied any comment. 

A few days before the robbery the 6th Summit of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development took place in Nairobi.  

According to a statement by the Presidency, President Zuma and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were scheduled to hold bilateral talks prior to the summit.

The president also attended the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) forum meeting which took place on the sidelines of the summit.

The robbery of the diplomat is not the first to have taken place recently. According to the Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor, numerous members of the Ugandan parliament were held up when they arrived at the KariBou-Inn guest house in Lyndhurst in August. They had just come from the OR Tambo International Airport.

According to the paper, their passports and personal effects were stolen. One of the officials was stripped during the robbery. 

"The matter is sensitive and I have referred it to foreign affairs permanent secretary ambassador James Mugume," Uganda's High Commissioner to South Africa, ambassador Julius Peter Moto, said to the Daily Monitor.

Read more on:    saps  |  kenya  |  uganda  |  crime  |  air travel

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