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Easy access to explosives, police corruption among causes of spike in heists - study

Bullet holes in the G4S van during the attempted heist. File picture
Bullet holes in the G4S van during the attempted heist. File picture
Image: Supplied

Easy access to explosives and corruption in the police system are some of the reasons for a dramatic increase in cash-in-transit heists‚ a study has found.

Dr Mahlogonolo Thobane‚ who focuses on criminology‚ found that due to a lack of control in the mining sector‚ robbers find it easy to access explosives for heists.

“The ramification of armed robberies is currently costing the banking and cash-in-transit industries vast amounts of money‚ not only in cash being stolen‚ but also due to money being spent on fighting this crime.

"The expenditure of these industries on target hardening and surveillance measures is radically increasing as perpetrators become more professional and sophisticated‚” Thobane found.

The 2014 study is titled “The criminal career of armed robbers with specific reference to cash-in-transit robberies”.

On Wednesday the Seshego Regional Court in Limpopo jailed mine workers for dealing in explosives.

Captain Matimba Maluleke from the Hawks said that they could not rule out a possibility of there being a link between the dealers and the rise in cash-in-transit heists since the crime was often operated by syndicates.

“The sentencing comes at the time when the province and the country are experiencing an upsurge in cash-in-transit heists and commercial explosives are reportedly being used in a commission of these serious crimes.”

Emmanuel Molokoane was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years’ direct imprisonment for dealing‚ supplying‚ possession and theft of explosives. Thapelo Kekana was sentenced to 30 years on the same charges while Peter Tselanyane received a 15-year sentence for theft of explosives.

Maluleke said it was hoped that the sentences would send a strong message that joint police efforts were yielding excellent results in ensuring that those are involved in the illegal supply of explosives went to jail for a very long time.