THE South Africa Police Service (Saps) last week arrested seven suspected Zimbabweans after they were allegedly found smuggling 60 explosives through the Beitbridge Border Post.
BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
The suspects were believed to be part of a larger syndicate linked to several high profile robberies in South Africa, targeting ATMs and cash-in-transit vans in the Limpopo province.
Saps Limpopo provincial police spokesman Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe confirmed the development, saying: “The relentless efforts by the police in Limpopo to eradicate the existence of illegal explosives in the province has once again yielded positive results with the arrest of seven suspects last Thursday, while they were enroute to the Gauteng province.”
“The operation was conducted in Musina at the Beitbridge Port of Entry by various police units from the Saps Musina when seven suspects aged between 32 and 39, including a woman, were stopped in their tracks after their suspicious vehicle was stopped and searched,” Ngoepe said in a statement.
During the search, police recovered 50 fused caps and 10 blasting cartridges, he said.
“The origins of these explosives is still being determined although it is believed that this might be part of a bigger syndicate on business and armed robberies where in some instances, safes are blown-up by the explosives, but the ongoing police investigations will tell,” Ngoepe said.
The suspects are expected to appear in Musina Magistrates’ Court to answer charges of possession of illegal explosives and illegally entering South Africa soon.
In an unrelated matter, Ngoepe said police had launched a manhunt for Zimbabwean jailbreak, Raphael Nyota (30) from Harare who broke out of prison where he was jailed for murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Nyota, together with six other convicts broke out of Kutama Sinthumule Correctional Centre outside Louis Trichadt on October 17, 2017.
Police have since rearrested South Africans Phathutshedzo Nemadodzi (34), Chris Faku (37), Jabulani Isaac Mahlangu (32), Ntshengedzeni Manuka (26), Ntshavheni Thomas Munya (30) and another Zimbabwean Justice Makamo (28) all jailed for violent crimes.
Police are appealing to anyone with information that might lead to Nyota’s arrest to contact Colonel Nyelisani Mabatha at 002782 565 8171 or any nearest police station even in Zimbabwe.