Avatar photo

By Malibongwe Dayimani

Premium Journalist

Police nab four for supplying explosives used to bomb ATMs and cash vans

The suspects are thought to be responsible for ATM bombings, cash-in-transit heists and illicit mining in four provinces.

A well-organised syndicate suspected of supplying cash robbers with explosives to bomb ATMS and cash trucks across the country has been arrested.  

An interprovincial police team nabbed the three men and a woman in Welkom, Free State, on Wednesday during a tracing operation.

The police also believe the gang’s explosives could be linked to illegal mining activities.

READ: Suspected ATM bombers arrested in Fourways

Explosives seized

The Eastern Cape Crime Intelligence Unit members, the National Intervention Unit (NIU) from Pretoria, as well as Saps Free State Explosives section pounced on the suspects and seized 40 explosives and a number of explosives accessories.

National police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said the suspects are believed to be involved in a number of cases where explosives were used, such as ATM bombings, cash-in-transit heists and illicit mining activities. The crimes are suspected to have taken place in the Free State, Eastern Cape, North West and Gauteng.

ALSO READ: One of Gauteng’s most wanted suspects fatally wounded in police shootout

All four suspects are expected to appear before the Welkom Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 23 February 2024, on charges relating to contravening the Explosives Act 26 of 1956, Mathe added.

173 suspects caught in ongoing operation

The police raid was part of the ongoing Operation Shanela which has so far seized 11 481 explosives during roadblocks, tracing, as well as stop and search operations since May 2023.

A total of 173 suspects have also been arrested during the same period for the illegal possession of explosives.  

NOW READ: Manhunt launched for Boksburg ‘CIT heist’ suspects

Read more on these topics

CIT heist explosives Free State Police

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits