Mpumalanga cop among 9 suspects arrested for armed robbery and attempted murder

2019-07-03 17:34
Police found an AK-47 rifle and rounds of ammunition. (PHOTO: Supplied)

Police found an AK-47 rifle and rounds of ammunition. (PHOTO: Supplied)

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A police officer was among nine suspects arrested for armed robbery and the attempted murder of a security guard in Bethal, Mpumalanga.

The Mzinoni police station officer was arrested along with his alleged accomplices at a guesthouse in Bethal on Tuesday afternoon.

"The arrests took place soon after the suspects, aged between 27 and 39, armed with pistols and rifles, accosted staff at a local supermarket just after 07:00 and ordered everyone to lie down. A security guard was shot [in his] upper body in the process and the suspects started searching everyone and robbed them of items of an undisclosed value before fleeing the scene.

"Police were soon alerted and a 72-hour activation plan was put in motion, leading to the subsequent tracing of the suspects to a local guesthouse, where they had rendezvoused after having committed the crime. When police arrived, the suspects started shooting at them and they retaliated, leading to two of the suspects being shot and injured," police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said.

Officers lauded for speedy arrests

Hlathi said the officer and eight others were arrested and that two vehicles, an AK-47 rifle, live ammunition and a 9mm pistol were confiscated.

The nine people are expected to appear in court on Thursday on charges of business robbery, attempted murder, and the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

Hlathi said Mpumalanga provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, lauded officers from the Bethal police station and Secunda cluster Crime Intelligence for the speedy arrests.

Zuma also hailed community police forum members who assisted police.

"The fact that one of the suspects is a police officer, is an indication that the SAPS is determined to eliminate rogue members from within," Zuma said.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  police  |  crime

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