Alleged dealers in court

2018-05-30 06:00

Six alleged smugglers of guns and explosives are expec­ted to reappear in the Welkom Magistrate’s Court on Wednes­day (30/05).

The accused are Petso Maleleka (28) and Emanuel Mohapi (34), who are both constables, Elias Hlathi (59), a former warrant officer, Keketso Modi­bedi (24) and two Lesotho nationals, Kabelo Rato (33) and Thulo Tsunke (38).

Capt. S’fiso Nyakane, provincial Hawks spokesperson, said the two constables had been stationed at the Thabong Police Cluster. He said the men had been nabbed in March during an operation by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit.

“A series of undercover transactions were conducted with the suspects, wherein members bought firearms and explosives, culminating in their arrest in Thabong and Welkom,” said Nyakane.

“The six-member syndicate are allegedly involved in the selling of commercial explosives and illegal firearms.

“They allegedly supply crime syndicates with explosives that are commonly used to bomb ATMs’ and cash-in-transit vehicles,” said Nyakane.

He said the two Lesotho nationals and one South African citizen were still behind bars after the state had turned down their bail applications.

Those out on bail of R5 000 each are Maleleka, Mohapi and Hlathi.

Nyakane said investigation into the smuggling of guns and explosives was ongoing, adding that two suspects on the run were sought by the elite crime unit.

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