Mbalula applauds security forces for speedy response in airport robbery

2017-07-01 22:10
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula addresses the media. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula addresses the media. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has congratulated the speedy response of security forces in foiling the airport robbery that took place on Saturday morning at OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.

A shootout resulted in one suspect being shot, and another arrested as police attempted to stop the suspects.

"We want to reassure South Africans that robbery and crime in our ports will be the thing of the past, we are squeezing space for criminals to operate," Mbalula said in a statement.

The management of the airport said the shootout with police and security guards occurred on Saturday at a highway ramp after robbers allegedly fled from the airport's Swissport warehouse in a seized cargo truck.

According to the statement from Mbalula, at approximately 10:00 on Saturday morning, a group of about eight suspects entered the cargo terminal in two cars.

Joint reactive strategies

Some of the suspects are alleged to have been wearing security company reflector jackets.

"Some suspects took control of the main gate while the others proceeded to a Swissport warehouse and stole a truck carrying cellphones. Two suspects fled on foot across the R21 highway.

"One suspect was shot dead in a shootout [by] a Gauteng K9 member and the second was arrested. Two firearms, including a pistol and a revolver were recovered from these suspects," the statement read.

Mbalula said that the police ministry was happy with the joint reactive strategies implemented to combat robberies at the airport, adding that he had confidence that South Africans would begin to see a decrease in business robbery.

The busy airport - OR Tambo - has been a target of several brazen crimes including theft and business robbery.

In March, robbers made off with at least $1.5m (approximately R19m) using what authorities said was a marked police vehicle in a heist at the airport.

Detained suspects included a police constable and members of a private security company.

Mbalula urged companies to be security conscious, and to avoid being vulnerable to criminals.

In the statement, it is said that the case is being investigated by a recently established multi-disciplinary team comprising of specialised investigators, crime intelligence and forensics experts, among others.

Read more on:    fikile mbalula  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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