The Hawks arrested 11 suspects who were planning to hold up staff at OR Tambo International Airport's cargo section in an armed robbery on Friday night.
The men – dressed in blue overalls and yellow safety vests, ostensibly to look like airport workers – were surrounded before they could execute their plan.
Hawks spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said they received a tip-off about a planned armed robbery, and the Hawks' Tactical Operations Management Section launched a joint intelligence-driven operation.
The unit was assisted by the Special Task Force, Ekurhuleni District Operational Task Team, K9 Law Enforcement and Bad Boyz Security.
"The information was operationalised, and the team observed as the identified eight-ton truck with false registration plates and branding entered Swissport," said Mogale.
The truck, three unlicensed firearms, ammunition and cellphones were seized.