R20m ORT heist vehicle found, court hears

2017-05-26 17:04
OR Tambo International Airport. (iStock)

OR Tambo International Airport. (iStock)

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Johannesburg – A vehicle that was allegedly used in the multi-million rand OR Tambo International Airport heist was found two weeks ago, the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court heard on Friday. 

The vehicle was submitted for forensic investigation, Prosecutor Pieter Erasmus told the court. 

"It was clear it was fitted with [police vehicle] stickers on the side," Erasmus said. 

Seven men, including a police officer appeared in court in connection with the heist. 

The men previously appeared in court, and all were granted bail. 

Simon Thlokwane, France Manaka, 26, and Philokuhle Ntanzi, 30, face charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The court had previously granted bail to their co-accused, Sibusiso Job Mnisi, 39, Prince Raphael Dube, 43, and Thando Sonqishe, 39. 

A seventh suspect, Mosiwa Mutame, 35, was also released on bail after he handed himself over to police.

On Friday, Manaka and Dube asked the court to reduce the amount asked for bail. 

They both argued through their attorneys that they could not pay the amount requested. 

Manaka was initially granted R50 000 bail and Dube R100 000.  

The court agreed to reduce Manaka's bail to R20 000, while Dube was granted R50 000. 

Their bail conditions include reporting to their respective police stations twice a week. They were also told not to leave Gauteng or to request permission from the investigating officer if they wanted to. 

The State confirmed that R20.7m worth of banknotes from Standard Bank were stolen at the airport on March 7.

Erasmus told the court that Standard Bank was conducting their own internal investigation. 

According to Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), a bakkie which was marked as a police vehicle and a white vehicle drove with sirens and flashing blue lights into a security entrance of the airport to steal the money.

No shots were fired in the incident.

The State requested a postponement to allow for further investigation. 

The matter is expected back in court on July 7.

Read more on:    or tambo international airport  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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