How the multi-million-rand heist unfolded – OR Tambo

SA police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)
SA police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Johannesburg – OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday revealed how an estimated R24 million was stolen from a container at the airport.

A bakkie pulled up in front of a restricted access gate at 19:23 on Tuesday, according to a statement from the airport.

A white Ford Focus followed the bakkie. Both had sirens on and blue lights flashing. The occupants were several armed men, some of them wearing SAPS uniforms.

“When requested to validate their credentials, the men produced firearms, rounded up security staff in the security checkpoint and ordered them to lie on the floor,” the airport said.

The robbers went to the airside of the airport and took an undisclosed amount of money from a sealed container. No shots were fired and nobody was hurt.

Sources who did not want to be named told News24 on Wednesday that R24 million in foreign currency was removed. The money was destined for the United Kingdom.

The two cars used were recovered in Mamelodi, Pretoria. One of them contained the empty containers the cash was in.

It was not yet clear who the money belonged to.

The airport said security guards in the affected operations had been replaced as a precautionary measure while investigations continue.

Police said a team including SAPS crime intelligence and detectives, and the Hawks, would investigate the robbery.

The airport said it was deeply concerned by the robbery and the manner in which it took place.

“The team has been working around the clock in an effort to trace the robbers,” it said.

Anyone with information about the crime could contact Crime Stop on 08600-10111.

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