Hawks nab ATM gang

2013-01-15 00:00

TEN men arrested in Mtubatuba at the weekend for a spate of ATM bombings in KwaZulu-Natal could be linked to the recent murder of Pietermaritzburg K9 unit Constable Vidhur Jadoo.

The Witness established yesterday that police are working around the clock to link the suspects to numerous ATM bombings in the province.

It was after one such heist that Jadoo and his partner, Warrant Officer Livingston Mpangase, were ambushed and shot in the Howick area.

The incident happened when Jadoo and Mpangase responded to a call in the early hours of November 7 last year. Both members of the award-winning Pietermaritzburg K9 unit were shot by attackers armed with AK47s, R5 and R4 rifles, and pistols.

Jadoo died of his injuries in hospital, but Mpangase survived.

The suspects are expected to appear in court in Howick today.

Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko said the group was positively linked to four Howick ATM bombings. “The investigation is still continuing and we cannot admit or deny that they are linked to the murder of the K9 officer. What we know is that more arrests are expected,” he said.

Ramaloko said the arrested men, all aged between 20 and 40, were taken into custody on Sunday.

They were staying in Soweto at the time of their arrests, but The Witness learnt that they are all from the Ladysmith area.

Rumours that gang members had military training were dispelled yesterday, as were the widely published reports that they were white.

Some of the suspects were allegedly on bail on similar charges when they were arrested.

The Witness was told that they were arrested in a minibus taxi that was travelling from Gauteng to the province and broke down en route.

The investigation led to a house at eManguze near Kosi Bay on the border between South Africa and Mozambique.

The Hawks recovered several firearms, including an AK47 and a pistol, nine explosive cables and a stolen bakkie. The vehicle was allegedly stolen in Booysens, Gauteng, in early January, Ramaloko said.

Police are also investigating whether the gang is linked to ATM bombings in Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

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