Illegal firearms haul: security firm pair nabbed in undercover operation

2011-01-05 00:00

A DURBAN security company has remained defiant and declined to comment on allegations that two of its employees were arrested for being in possession of a hoard of illegal firearms in Durban in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The two employees of Durban-based Isidingo Security Services, aged 41 and 52, were arrested by members of the SA Police Force crime intelligence and crime combating units after an undercover operation.

They were caught as they were travelling along the M19 from Westville towards New Germany with 54 illegal firearms loaded in a company bakkie.

Police later proceeded to the company’s offices in the Durban CBD to confiscate a further 146 firearms.

The company is said to be owned by two Durban business tycoons who have a string of other security companies.

When approached for comment, two women employees who took the calls declined to comment as soon as they heard that the caller was a reporter.

“I’m not going to comment no matter what question you ask me. My mouth will remain sealed. What kind of English do you understand? In isiZulu: alukho engizoluphawula [there is nothing to comment about]. Bye-bye now,” said one of the women.

The Witness has been told by reliable sources within the Private Security Industry Regularity Authority (PSIRA) that the firearms are illegal.

It is alleged that after Isidingo officials heard about the week-long undercover investigation, they moved fast to collect the firearms from different sites, apparently to conceal them.

PSIRA also participated in the confiscation of the firearms.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said the two suspects, whose names will only be released when they appear in court, were in possession of 27 pistols and 27 revolvers.

Naicker said the accused failed to produce the documents that allow them to transport the firearms.

“Further charges will be added in terms of the Firearms Control Act with regards to failing to transport firearms in the prescribed manner, failing to produce necessary permits for the said firearms, as well as not having the necessary permits to transport the said firearms,” said Naicker.

Investigating officers attached to PSIRA also confiscated documents from the company’s premises in order to investigate the legality of its operations.

A PSIRA official who asked to remain anonymous said, “This company has 1 700 security guards or even more. We took its records in order to check if its security guards are trained as required.

“We also want to check if the guards are all registered under the PSIRA,”

The official said there are a number of security companies who breach the PSIRA regulations.

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