Mpumalanga police have expressed concern over the prevalence of cash-in-transit (CIT) heists in the province.
A well-placed source who works undercover on CIT-heist gangs told Lowvelder the chances of CIT heist being successfully pulled off without any insider information are almost zero.
The “super robbers” (syndicate bosses) need to have information regarding the movement of CIT vehicles and know which routes are planned and what kind of cash is on board.
“When a CIT vehicle is knocked in the afternoon we know it was collecting cash from outlets carrying a lot of money.
“When a vehicle is robbed in the morning, we know they were doing the rounds, topping up ATMs with cash, and the robbers moved early while the vehicle was still laden with loot,” said the source.
“It’s either a contact in the distribution centres where the cash is received and counted for loading on to the vehicles, a former security guard with knowledge, or even a security guard on the targeted vehicle, that provides information to the heist-gang leaders.
“There is now way that the robbers would attack a vehicle randomly without credible information,” the source said.
When a “super robber” receives intelligence on a possible target, he gathers his team of experts from the pool of available men operating within the circle of heist gangs.
They prefer E-class Mercedes-Benzes (called an “envelope”) for their hard bodies, to ram the security vehicle off the road. Then they select the “dynamite man” as the explosive expert as well as the heavily armed “soldiers” with AK-47 and R5 assault rifles and handguns.
“By now we can already identify certain of the syndicate leaders from their modus operandi when we investigate the crime scenes.”
As a team is selected well in advance of the planned attack, an area is selected on an uphill where the target vehicle has to move slowly, or around a bend (like yesterday’s heist).
The core members of the team familiarise themselves with the area and take pictures. The site is visited by a chosen few the day before the planned heist for last-minute reconnaissance.
According to the source, the heist gangs also have good informants in and backup from corrupt police officials.
He described one incident in which a gang was setting up explosives to blow a drop-down safe at a garage in Emalahleni when somebody saw it and phoned 10111 to summon the police.
“That call had just been made and you could see on the garage’s CCTV how the gang scattered in all directions,” the source said.
Another well-placed source named a well-known crime-syndicate boss from eMalahleni as a suspect in yesterday’s heist. “He is always seen at casinos in Mpumalanga, where he plays high stakes on the tables,” Lowvelder was told.
– Caxton News Service