Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) police are on the hunt for a gang of armed suspects following a brutal cash-in-transit heist on the R74 towards Maphumulo on Wednesday afternoon.

According to KZN police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker, the incident occurred sometime after lunch. The suspects, traveling in a bakkie, fired shots at a cash-in-transit vehicle, forcing it off the road.

“The armed suspects then held up the security officers and robbed them of their firearms,” said Naicker. “They proceeded to blow open the vehicle’s safe and escape with an undisclosed amount of cash.”

KwaDukuza SAPS [KwaDukuza SAPS investigation] have opened a case of armed robbery and attempted murder in connection with the incident. A multidisciplinary manhunt is currently underway to apprehend the perpetrators.

Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya, the national head of the DPCI (Hawks), emphasized the ongoing problem of cash-in-transit heists in South Africa.

“The DPCI, in collaboration with private security organizations, continues to strengthen the fight against these crimes,” said Lebeya. “CIT robbers are ruthless and do not hesitate to put bystanders’ lives at risk.”

Lebeya revealed that during the fourth quarter of the 2023/24 financial year, 51 cases of CIT robberies were reported nationally. However, he highlighted some success stories. Twenty arrests were made, leading to 15 convictions.

As an example, Lebeya cited a recent case in the Eastern Cape High Court where two men were convicted for a CIT robbery committed in March 2022. Lwando Ntiyantiya (36) and Nkosekhaya Lloyd (38) received two life sentences and a combined total of 216 years in prison for their crimes, which included robbery, murder, attempted murder, and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

The brutality of this latest heist on the KZN North Coast serves as a stark reminder of the dangers faced by cash-in-transit security guards. Police are urging anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspects to come forward.

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