After days of continuous forensic investigation, the masterminds of the OR Thambo Airport sleaze have been uncovered amidst consternation and shocking disbelieve. There are strong signals that more officers could have been involved in the theft.
Acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane said last night two of the suspects had appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court yesterday on charges of armed robbery.
Phahlane declined to comment on the identity of the police officer who had been arrested, or his three alleged accomplices.
“The policeman is still being questioned and has not yet appeared in court. At this stage, we cannot rule out whether more officers will be arrested or not.
“What I can say is that none of the money has been recovered.”
Phahlane said the arrests were the results of the “hard work of our crime intelligence agents”.
“This was not done through a tip-off and credit for the hard work by the Hawks and other police members must be given.”
The heist took place on Tuesday night when a group of men pretending to be police officers stopped GuardForce security personnel as they were transporting the money to a waiting London-bound flight.
GuardForce secures high-risk cargo such as cash, precious metals and diamonds at a cargo storage facility at the airport.
Sources said the attack occurred as GuardForce employees approached the aircraft.
Phahlane also told the media briefing that four people had been arrested in connection with the massacre on the East Rand last week of 14 illegal miners from Lesotho, who were killed in separate shootings at illegal mine shafts near Benoni.
Phahlane said the suspects were also from Lesotho.
“Several firearms, which may have been used in the killings, have been recovered,” he said.