$15 Million stolen in South Africa Airport Robbery
The two vehicles used in one of South Africa’s most audacious heist at the, OR Tambo airport, have been found in Pretoria East, about 70 km away.
South African authorities are investigating how a gang of about 13 armed robbers.
The robbers managed to bypass strict security at the Johannesburg’s international airport before making away with 27 boxes, destined for the United Kingdom, containing about $15 million in different currencies.
The consignment was due to be loaded onto an international flight when the armed gang, posing as police, ambushed four guards manning a restricted access gate to the cargo area.
The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA), which owns and operates nine airports in the country including the OR Tambo, said when the robbers, clad in police uniforms, were asked to show their identification cards, they unleased their weapons instead and forced the security staff to the ground.
“The team has been working around the clock in an effort to trace the robbers.
Thus far the two vehicles involved in the robbery have been recovered in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria.
It was established that the bakkie had been made to look like an official police vehicle,” ACSA spokesperson, Trevor Jones, said. (A bakkie is a light truck or pickup.)
ACSA has since heightened security in and around the airport.
“Management of Airports Company South Africa is deeply concerned by this robbery and the manner in which it took place. We are working closely with law enforcement agencies to support both the investigation of this robbery and to establish what further measures will be taken,” Mr Jones said.
The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) says details of how the heist was carried out points to the robbers having access to accurate information, suggesting it was an inside job.
The national police is working closely with ACSA and South African Airways (SAA), the flag carrier, to determine how the brazen heist was carried out.
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