Two thieves posed as SBV security guards‚ drove into a cash depot in Kuruman in the Northern Cape and collected R9 million in cash.
The thieves were accompanied by two fully dressed and armed police officers with registered police vehicle.
According to the Hawks‚ the incident happened on December 8 ahead of the festive rush.
Captain Philani Nkwalase said SBV never noticed that one of their vehicles was missing because of the police interference.
“At this stage‚ we are not looking for any vehicle because the vehicle was never reported stolen or missing‚ but 9 million is missing” he said.
The culprits took the vehicle‚ covered its original plates with another set and then went to collect the R9 million‚ which had been set aside for social grants.
The number plate was cloned from another SBV vehicle‚ which at the time of the theft was out of the province.
“The fake number plate was not a random faked number plate. [It] was one of a vehicle that existed so G4S (where the suspects collected the money from) had no reason to suspect anything. The registration plate checked and the vehicle checked‚” said Nkwalase.
The Hawks are investigating whether this could have been an inside job especially with the police aid.
“This is because the thieves knew of all the systems and procedures to collect the money‚” said Nkwalase.
The two guards‚ who were even dressed in uniform‚ pulled off the operation without anyone suspecting that something was untoward about them.
A short while later‚ however‚ the real security officials arrived and were shocked to discover that the cash they were there to pick up had already been taken.
Nkwalase said the case was recently handed over to the Hawks unit.
Using a picture taken off the CCTV footage‚ the Hawks had to comb through the system of SBV to ensure that the only visible suspect was not under SBV’s employ.
They have since verified that the man is not employed by SBV and are seeking assistance in locating him.
The picture‚ however‚ barely shows the face of the suspect as he is seen looking away from the camera.
SAPS denied employing any of the police officers but the police vehicle used is a registered police vehicle.