OVER 300 ORGANISED CRIME SYNDICATES IN SA: ISS
The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) says more than 300 organised crime syndicates are working in South Africa and 10% of them specialise in cash-in-transit heists.
Johann Berger from the ISS says it is very optimistic of the police to say that they have dealt the cash-in-transit syndicates a major blow because there are too many gangs working and they have too much room to operate in. Berger says the South African intelligence community should primarily focus on these syndicates because they are a threat to national security. He says they need to expand their informer network, and they need a well co-ordinated effort to prosecute these gangs.
KwaZulu-Natal police are adamant that they have dealt the country’s cash-in-transit syndicates a major blow. Twenty-five suspected gang members, including what police are calling heist kingpins, were arrested in the last few days. Police have been under pressure to deal with the increasing number of heists. Twenty-four of the men appeared in the Durban Magistrates Court today. They were charged with murder, attempted murder, hijacking and armed robbery. The men will appear in court again on November 6 for bail.
Simultaneous attacks near Hluhluwe
On Monday night, the gang carried out simultaneous attacks on two security cash vans near Hluhluwe. In one incident they managed to get away with cash. A police van arrived at the scene by chance and a shooot-out followed. In the other botched heist, the gang hijacked a car and abducted a 22-year-old woman. She was later found unharmed. The gang then drove past a security van. Shots were fired and a security guard died of his wounds later.
Police believe the gang regrouped in Richard’s Bay where they changed cars. They were caught at the Umvoti toll plaza near Kwadukuza on Tuesday morning. Police recovered weapons and R700 000 of the R1 million believed stolen. Meanwhile, police are still searching for another gang who failed to rob a cash van in Hammarsdale between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. Police are carrying out forensic tests on some of the vehicles the gang used.
October 05, 2006 SABC News