Gun-toting 'man' unmasked as a woman in dramatic bank heist plot

A joint operation between South African and Eswatini police has resulted in the arrest of four people for bank robbery.
A joint operation between South African and Eswatini police has resulted in the arrest of four people for bank robbery.
Image: 123rf/ Igor Stevanovic

A gun-toting woman who disguised herself as a man and robbed a bank in neighbouring Eswatini has been arrested in Mpumalanga.

The woman and an alleged accomplice, also a woman, involved in an elaborate bank heist plot are expected to appear in the Eerstehoek Magistrate's Court on Friday after they were found in possession of suspected stolen cash, said police spokesperson Brig Leonard Hlathi.

Their arrest followed a joint operation between South African police and the Royal Eswatini Police (REP).

"The women, aged 27 and 32, were arrested on Wednesday," said Hlathi.

"Information revealed that a bank robbery took place on May 8 at Matsapha wherein a woman, disguised as a man and armed with a firearm, stormed into the bank holding a teller and a security guard hostage. They were ordered to fill a big bag with cash," said Hlathi.

Police did not disclose how much money was taken.  

"A few days after the incident, a probe by the REP revealed that the robbery may have been a collaboration among the bank teller, the security guard and the duo.

"The teller and the security guard were traced and arrested. Investigations established that the loot had been smuggled into SA where it was to be kept safe at Nhlazatshe, Elukwatini, near Badplaas until it was safe to share it among the four," Hlathi said.

As investigations continued in SA, police traced the two women to Tjakastad where they were arrested.

They were charged with possession of suspected stolen cash.

The 27-year-old woman who dressed as a man will appear at a later date in an Eswatini court in connection with the robbery itself.


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