Mpumalanga police have arrested six men for various crimes, including the unlawful possession of high-calibre firearms suspected to have been stolen from a police station in Bushbuckridge.
The suspects, aged between 24 and 66, were arrested on Thursday and charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, conspiracy to commit business robbery, as well as attempted murder.
Police spokesperson in the province, Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, said the group was arrested during an intelligence-driven operation by various police units.
“The suspects were intercepted in Bushbuckridge, possibly planning a robbery using three firearms, two high-calibre rifles and a revolver were which were seized,” Hlathi said in a statement.
He said police received information about a white Mazda single cab bakkie, which was spotted with a group of men at the back.
Police ordered the driver to stop the bakkie but were ignored resulting in a high-speed chase.
The suspects then began firing shots towards police, damaging their vehicle.
According to police, one suspect was shot and sustained an injury when police fired back shots at the bakkie.
“Meanwhile, another was injured whilst trying to flee by jumping from their vehicle while it was moving.
“The vehicle of the suspects overturned and police swiftly arrested the four other suspects. The injured suspects are currently receiving medical attention in hospital under police guard.”
Police station robbery
Hlathi said the police investigation would also look into whether the suspects were involved in other criminal activities elsewhere.
“Police also suspect that one of the firearms, might have been stolen from a robbery that took place at Bushbuckridge police station sometime last year or robbed from a tactical response team member early this year,” he said.
The suspects were expected to appear at Bushbuckridge Magistrate’s Court on Friday.