Bloemfontein – Three police officers were among 10 suspects arrested in an operation targeting a syndicate illegally selling commercial explosives to a gang allegedly involved in cash-in-transit heists and other crimes.Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Wednesday applauded the Gauteng Hawks and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) following the joint operation on Tuesday.The 10 were arrested in Thabong, Odendaalsrus, Virginia and Theunissen, in the Free State. The three officers were nabbed by IPID for allegedly escorting the suspects.Mbalula said the second phase of the investigation would "deal with the origin of the explosives and possible linkage to any crime related to the use of explosives"."We are squeezing the space for criminals. The elite unit, the Hawks, together with IPID, are hard at work in rooting out crime and corruption in our society. Criminals who are involved in cash-in-transit [heists] not only hurt the economy, but they target social grant money meant for the children and vulnerable citizens of our country," Mbalula said."I am happy that the rotten cops who betray our badge are being arrested. As a nation we must refuse to live side by side with criminals – we must work together for the prosperity of our nation."