THE owner of the Creighton Hotel, Chris Vermaak, has credited the work by Magma Security and Investigation for the swift arrests of seven suspects in connection with a robbery at his hotel last month.
“There should be 20% credit going to police and 80% to Magma security for their outstanding work in apprehending the suspects,” he said.
Vermaak was angered when police allegedly left him, his wife, staff and patrons at the mercy of armed gunmen, and then failed dismally to follow up on information after the robbery.
He was quoted by The Witness saying he felt that “lazy policing” could have cost them their lives.
“But I am happy that the suspects have now been apprehended,” he said.
Shaheen Suleiman of Magma Security and Investigation said: “We were asked by the farming community in Creighton to work on the case having just started patrolling the area.”
He said it took them a week to work on the case and they were able to apprehend the suspects on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
“We also recovered firearms and exhibits,” he said.
Suleiman said the suspects were arrested in Umlazi, Folweni and Creighton. He thanked the Umhlali K9 Unit and the Creigton police for assistance.
“There is still one suspect at large but we are working around the clock to arrest him,” he said.
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said they were charged with business robbery.
Naicker said a sixth suspect in Creighton was found in possession of dagga and was charged.
“The last suspect was also found in possession of 7.65 pistol in the same area and was charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm,” he said.
He said they appeared in Ixopo Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
The KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni said: “These arrests once again reaffirm my statement that the strong partnership that was forged between police, business and security companies prior to the start of the festive season is bearing fruits.”