Police seize arms cache in old hotel

Police seized explosives and ammunition at an old hotel in The Strand, Western Cape, police said yesterday.

Police seized explosives and ammunition at an old hotel in The Strand, Western Cape, police said yesterday.

"Several commercial explosives, as well as ammunition, were found stored in boxes. We also confiscated magazines, detonators, cordtex, boosters, charges, igniter cord, fuse heads, fuses and blast indicators," said Inspector Bernadine Steyn.

No one has been arrested.

Steyn said cases of illegal storage of explosives and illegal possession of ammunition were being investigated.

The explosives and ammunition were found by the police on Tuesday afternoon.

"Police acted on a tip-off and searched a storage room at the back of the old hotel."

The building, in Gordons Bay Road in the Rusthof suburb of The Strand, is no longer used as a hotel.

Die Burger reported that a large amount of explosives was found at the site, identified as the Yellow Rose Hotel.

The building, formerly known as the Harmony Hotel, is now being used as a church.

A witness told Die Burger that police sniffer-dogs found the explosives. Small square parcels and red metal crates similar to those in which ammunition is stored were removed from the building by police on Tuesday. Several police vehicles cordoned off the area late into the night.

Many residents in the Rusthof neighbourhood had complaints about the building.

According to neighbours, people and cars often moved in and out of the premises at night. It was also alleged that police sometimes spent the whole day there.

Bold van Rhyn, 39, believed that whatever had been happening in the building was drug-related.

Other residents alleged the building was occupied by a sect.

"People, including children, run around in the night with flags, shouting slogans."

There were also allegations of child slavery and pornography.

The police would not comment on the allegations.

The building is believed to be owned by Chinese citizens who are presently abroad. - Sapa

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