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JOYCE LEE, BOTHO MOLOSANKWE and BRENDAN ROANE
Johannesburg - A man, his daughter and their domestic worker were expected to appear in court on Monday in connection with the huge guns and explosives cache discovered in Joburg last week.
Police are still seeking a man thought to be the leader of a drug syndicate who had stockpiled assault rifles and explosives, which were uncovered in a raid on a house in Victoria, next to Norwood, on Thursday night.
Law enforcement agents found R1, R4 and AK-47 rifles and about 300 handguns hidden in blue plastic containers in a storeroom of a house in Woodlands Road. The road runs behind the Norwood police station.
SAPS national commissioner General Riah Phiyega said they also found packaged dagga, detonators, explosives used in ATM bombings and a machine used to make ammunition.
Hundreds of rifles were in the arms cache. The exact number was not known.
“They will face cases of possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, contravention of the Explosives Act and dealing in dagga,” said Phiyega’s spokesman Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale.
There are suspicions that the three were living in the house illegally.
Makgale said the alleged ringleader they were pursuing was involved in the manufacturing as well as the exporting and importing of drugs.
He did not want to reveal the identity of the man but confirmed he is not South African. The father and daughter are also not South African.
“We have an idea of his whereabouts and will have him soon. We will give the guns to our ballistic experts to check if they were involved in the commissions of crime. We will establish what the intended use of those guns was.”
Police are also trying to establish what the relationship is between the ringleader and the man and his daughter.
Phiyega said the investigation was part of a larger operation led by the Hawks and SAPS crime intelligence to battle the top 15 crime syndicates in the country, which committed crimes such as human trafficking and money laundering.
Each province had drawn up a list of 30 wanted suspects, which included the alleged crime syndicate boss being sought.
Makgale said what was working well for the police was that there were officers working specifically on breaking the syndicates, as this solved many crimes.
Officers from crime intelligence, the Hawks, Hillbrow police and law enforcement agents had raided the home after receiving information that there were illegal drugs. “We followed up that tip-off. This shows that someone knows about the crime in their area. We want people to come forward with information,” said Makgale.