Gang snatch R14m from bank vault

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

Fourteen million rand was stolen from highly secured Absa cash depot in Witbank, Mpumalanga, at the weekend.

But some sterling detective work led to the arrest of three men in Soweto and a security guard who was on duty at the time of the daring robbery.

The robbery took place on Saturday afternoon after the robbers allegedly held up three guards at an Absa cash vault.

Police assigned the Mpumalanga organised crime unit, from Middelburg, who got onto the case hours after the heist on Saturday.

The crack team of investigators made their breakthrough yesterday afternoon.

The unit, under Captain William Gcabashe, arrested the guard [in his early 20s] and three Soweto youths.

Spokesman for the provincial organised crime unit, Captain Leonard Hlathi, confirmed both the theft and the success by members of the unit, saying they worked round the clock and finally made the arrests.

Hlathi said the team worked for over 36 hours without sleep and also managed to recover some of the stolen money when they arrested the robbers.

At the time of going to press, the police were still counting the recovered cash.

Describing how the organised crime unit members cracked the case, Hlathi said they started by questioning the three guards and "one of them admitted having been involved in the robbery and even led the police to the other suspects' homes in Soweto".

Hlathi added that more arrests were expected and that those arrested were due to appear in the Witbank magistrate's court today. Their ages range between 20 and 35.

Spokesman for Absa in Mpumalanga, Nerina Wright, confirmed the incident. At the time she waqs reluctant to disclose the amount. but Sowetan has reliably learnt that R14 million was stolen.