National CIT Task Team arrest 202 suspects, recover 104 firearms, 178 high performance vehicles

South African Police Service

National CIT Task Team arrest 202 suspects, recover 104 firearms, 178 high performance vehicles
National CIT Task Team arrest 202 suspects, recover 104 firearms, 178 high performance vehicles

The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS) General Khehla Sitole has commended the relentless efforts of a National Task Team established to prevent and combat aggravated robberies, in particular Cash-In-Transit (CIT) heists in five provinces for continuously making inroads in stamping the authority of the state.

The National Commissioner’s remarks follows the latest breakthrough where two more suspects were arrested in the Rosettenville area on the evening of 21 February 200, bringing the total number of those arrested to ten. The pair were part of at least twenty-five suspects who were allegedly on their way to commit a CIT robbery when they were intercepted by a multidisciplinary team led by the National CIT Task Team in Moffatview, in the South of Johannesburg.

Various policing disciplines worked tirelessly throughout the night combing the scene where the task team managed to corner the group of heavily armed suspects. During the ordeal, eight suspects were shot and killed, ten suspects were arrested, two of which are under police guard in hospital. The team also seized ten high performance vehicles at an identified address as well as six AK47 machine guns, three rifles as well as explosives.

The Provincial Commissioner for Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela visited the injured members in hospital where they are receiving medical treatment. Three members of the SAPS which include, an Airborne Law Enforcement Officer (ALEO) and two members from the Moffatview Police Station were shot and wounded during the attack. In addition, a JMPD officer was also among the wounded officers. One member from the SAPS has since been discharged and others are still receiving medical treatment. The Provincial Commissioner has confirmed that the health of the injured members has since improved and all affected are in high spirits.

Since its establishment in February 2020, the team which is led by a female commander has been responsible for the arrest of 202 suspects that have been linked to CIT related crimes, thirteen of these suspects are among the country’s top 13 most wanted criminals who have been involved in a spate of aggravated robberies. To date, 178 high performance vehicles that were mostly hijacked have been recovered as well as 104 firearms which include 59 pistols and 48 rifles were seized during arrests.

To compliment this team, the Directorate Priority for Crime Investigations (HAWKS) established a task team also in February 2020 to specifically focus on CIT investigations which forms part of its mandate. The team has a broader focus and extends its work to apprehend all identified suspects on CIT and CIT related cases.

The National Commissioner of the SAPS has commended all involved for a show of force and asserting the authority of the state.

“The multidisciplinary team consisting of the National CIT Task Team, Crime Intelligence, members of the SAPS Airwing, the Tactical Response Teams(TRT), K9, JMPD,EMPD, Gauteng Highway Patrol well as RTMC ought to be commended for their hard work and dedication in pursuing these criminals in the latest breakthrough. This latest incident ought to send a clear message to all criminals that we are coming for all of them and that there is no longer a space for criminals to operate freely in South Africa. I also take this opportunity to wish all injured a speedy recovery”‘, said General Sitole.

While a manhunt is still underway to apprehend the remaining suspects, a call is being made for these suspects to hand themselves over to their nearest police station. Members of the public who have information on the whereabouts of these suspects are also encouraged to contact their nearest police station or call the Crime Stop Hotline on 08600 10111.

SAPS Newsroom

SOURCESouth African Police Service