Four people in a hired car, which had door panels stuffed with what could be the spoils of an Eastern Cape cash-in-transit heist, were arrested near Sasolburg on Tuesday, police said.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said that a group of armed men blew up a cash-in-transit vehicle in the Ngaleni area of Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape on Monday and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash. Police would not say how much it was.
They put in place what they described as their "72-hour Activation Plan" afterwards. The plan involves Crime Intelligence, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), SA Police Service detectives and other specialised units, who work together quickly to follow all leads and to protect any evidence.
Naidoo said Crime Intelligence tracked the four people to somewhere between the Eastern Cape and Gauteng, and they were intercepted on the N1 just outside Sasolburg.
"Four suspects aged between 40 and 44 years of age were travelling in a hired car. On searching the vehicle, a substantial amount of money was found hidden inside the door panels of the car," said Naidoo.
He said the group could not explain why the money was in the door panels. Some of the notes were damaged - possibly as a result of the explosion during the robbery.
Police are also probing whether they are linked to a cash-in-transit robbery in Mt Frere, also in the Eastern Cape, on August 3.
In that incident, the robbers did not get the money, but fled with security guards' firearms.
National Police Commissioner General Khehla John Sitole commended the team work and the speedy arrests.
"Since the implementation of the 72-hour Activation Plan, we are realising greater successes in tracking and arresting perpetrators of serious crimes", said Sitole.
The four people are expected to appear in the St Johns Magistrate's Court soon, possibly on Thursday.