CIT Association works with police to tackle robberies

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The Cash In Transit Association of South Africa says it’s making progress with the police in dealing with criminals involved in robberies. This follows the fatal shooting of four CIT robbery suspects in KwaMashu, north of Durban.

The operation by KwaZulu-Natal police is said to have been the result of a tip-off- following three heists in the area in a week.

Head of the Association, Grant Clark says, “There’ve been a number of operations in different provinces over the last two- or three months, where we’ve had great success in apprehending the criminals that are committing these crimes. Unfortunately for us, they just keep on coming- there’s just more and more of them, they just keep on committing them. We saw in Durban, from Monday this week, three- successive CIT incidents occurring, one in which we lost a life. One life lost for us from the CITASA perspective- as part of our ethos, is one life too many. We’re working very closely with law enforcement agencies from the CIT perspective, and slowly but surely, we are starting to make inroads in that we are meeting these criminals pound for pound.”

The four suspected are believed to have been involved in a number of cash-in-transit heists in the area, recently.  Two such heists happened in the north of Durban, earlier this week.

Police in KwaZulu-Natal say they are following up on leads in the investigation of three cash-in-transit heists in the Durban metro, earlier this week.

Manhunt underway in KZN for suspects in KwaMashu CIT robbery: Mlondi Radebe reports

On Tuesday, robbers blew up a cash van at eFolweni in the south of Durban.  The next day another cash van was blown up on KwaMashu’s busy Malandela Road.

And on Thursday night a third cash van was blown up and robbed on the N2 near the Queen Nandi Drive to KwaMashu. KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Jay Naicker says a task team is investigating the three robberies

“A joint task team involving multiple disciplines from the SAPS including the Hawks have been tracking these investigations and the people behind this. This morning they received intelligence that four of the men were hiding in the safe house in the area of KwaMashu. As the police officers approached the premises, they were met with gunfire. There was a shootout between the police and the suspects. During the shootout four of the suspects were fatally wounded,” Naicker explains.

Naicker says two of the four suspects are from Limpopo.  He says on the crime scene, the police found four firearms, including an AK47, a R5 assault rifle, and a lot of other ammunition.  A large quantity of explosives, several vehicle number plates, some of them are Limpopo registration plates as well as signal jammers were also found at the house. Naicker says a manhunt is underway for more suspects.

“From the information that we got two of the suspects are from Limpopo, so it would seem like these criminals are moving across provinces. When they have been involved in a shootout they move to another province. They split into groups from different groupings so they may be working together, whenever there is a shootout and when they lose, so of the members they join other groups,” Naicker adds.

Swift reaction

Wednesday’s heist happened in the late afternoon. A video doing the rounds on social media shows the cash van completely destroyed in the explosion, with members of the public mulling around, picking up cash strewn across the road.

The KwaMashu Community Policing Forum applauded the police for their swift reaction.  The forum’s secretary Mbuso Makhathini says the community was living in fear as crime in the area is rife.

“Firstly, I would like to thank the police force for their hard work in finding these criminals because this community used to live in shock and constant fear. The majority of the killings are a result of police looking for suspects and a shootout ensues between the police and the criminals. The police then retaliate to protect themselves as well. After today the community of KwaMashu will have a peaceful night,” says Makhathini.

Another suspect was arrested for a cash-in-transit robbery in a midnight raid in the Jolivet area in the south of the province. He was allegedly involved in a failed attack on a cash van on the N2 on the South Coast in May. The police confiscated two illegal firearms, a police bulletproof vest, a signal jammer and 26 South African IDs.


Preemptive information gathering

Criminology expert Professor Nirmala Gopal says it’s possible there will be another spike in cash-in-transit robberies as the country heads into the festive season.

Gopal says it would help if information could be gathered in advance to prevent the robberies.

“There’s a probability there would be an increase because of the large amounts of money that are involved. So if people want money ahead of the festive season, there’s a probability that we could see a rise. However, given the nature of CIT heists, the planning and the prep that these organised syndicates actually put into these CITs- what’s very important then is, do we have our proactive crime intelligence units – who are actually able to find out that this is actually happening- and instead of us seeing a rise in it- they should actually intercept it before we even get to that rise.”