End of the road for criminals responsible for ATM bombings

A task team assembled to trace and arrest suspects responsible for ATM bombings in Limpopo made a huge breakthrough when apprehending 10 men.

The suspected were cornered during a multidisciplinary Operation Takedown that commenced on Monday in Gauteng. The group was found in possession of firearms, explosives and suspected stolen vehicles.

Limpopo police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe said the operation was activated after a string of business robberies, particularly in the Capricorn, Sekhukhune and Mopani districts, where heavily armed suspects attacked filling stations.

In other robberies, explosives were detonated to access cash from drop-in-safes and ATMs.

Police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said the suspects were positively linked with 10 cases, the latest being an ATM bombing at Ga-Mashashane outside Polokwane on Tuesday, which resulted in a shootout with the security guards.

“The suspects were cornered in Soweto, Randfontein, Mabopane, and Orange Farm. They were found in possession of dye-stained bank notes, explosives, firearms and 18 live rounds of ammunition,” said Ledwaba.

“Police also confiscated two motor vehicles. The team is working tirelessly to effect more arrests and there is a possibility that the suspects might be linked to more cases.”

Ledwaba said nine suspects have been identified as Lesotho nationals who are in the country illegally, while the 10th suspect is South African.

The group faces charges of armed robbery, ATM bombings, possession of dye-stained money, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, possession of explosives, and contravention of the Immigration Act.


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