ATM bombers

10 alleged ATM bombers were nabbed in a major breakthrough operation. Images: SAPS.

Police arrest 10 alleged ATM bombers in Operation Takedown

A Limpopo police task team formed to tackle ATM bombings in the province arrested 10 suspects after tracing them to Gauteng.

ATM bombers

10 alleged ATM bombers were nabbed in a major breakthrough operation. Images: SAPS.

The Limpopo police made a major breakthrough when the task team assembled to find and arrested alleged ATM bombers in the province made ten arrests.

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Task team makes progress in apprehending suspects

“Operation Takedown”, as it was dubbed, kicked off in Gauteng on Monday. It was formed in the wake of several business robberies in the Capricorn, Sekhukhune and Mopani districts.

The business robberies saw several heavily-armed suspects hit petrol stations, using explosives to access the cash inside drop-in safes and ATMs.

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“The Provincial Commissioner of Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, activated a Task team comprised of highly skilled investigators to hunt down the perpetrators, hence the major breakthrough.

“The multi-disciplinary police team composed of the Limpopo Provincial Tracking team, Murder and Robbery Unit, Organised Crime Unit, and Flying Squad joined by Gauteng LCRC with assistance from the Private Security and Investigation Company,” said police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba.

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Alleged ATM bombers caught with dye-stained cash

The 10 arrested suspects were positively linked to 10 cases – the most recent one being an ATM bombing in Ga-Mashashane outside Polokwane on Tuesday, 16 May.

Members of Operation Takedown cornered the suspects in Soweto, Randfontein, Mabopane and Orange Farm. They were caught in possession of dye-stained banknotes, explosives, three firearms and 18 rounds of ammunition. The police also confiscated two vehicles.

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The task team believes there is a possibility of further arrests.

“Nine suspects have been identified as Lesotho Nationals, and they were found to be in the country illegally. The other suspect is a South African,” said the police spokesperson.

The alleged ATM bombers face charges of armed robbery, ATM bombing, possession of dye-stained money, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, possession of explosives and contravention of the Immigration Act. They are expected to different courts imminently.

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