Man linked to casino heist arrested

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carnival city shooting THE STAR FILE PHOTO: Police comb the scene in front of Carnival City after the shootout between robbers, security guards and police. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

Pretoria - A man allegedly linked to the Carnival City Casino robbery three weeks ago has been nabbed by the police in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Durban Organised Crime Unit, and its Gauteng counterpart, swooped on the man’s home in Inanda on Monday night.

The suspect, who owns a luxury home in the Greytown area, has been hiding in KwaZulu-Natal since the January 28 robbery.

A police source said three guns, R8 000 in cash, designer jewellery, cellphones and various car keys were seized. It is believed the keys were for the cars used in the Brakpan casino robbery.

Weeks of investigation led Brakpan police to the man’s KwaZulu-Natal hideout.

He was in custody before being taken to Gauteng on Tuesday night.

He is expected to appear in the Brakpan Magistrate’s Court this week on charges of armed robbery and attempted murder.

A source said the man - wanted for a string of armed robberies - admitted to being present at the casino heist. The source said: “They stole just over R1.2 million. There were 25 robbers… “

“The gang received information about how much cash was in the casino on the day of the robbery.

“It was easy cash for them and they knew the layout of the casino.”

It is believed the rest of the gang members are moving between Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Last month, it emerged that the plot to rob the casino in Joburg was allegedly hatched in a prison cell in KwaZulu-Natal by some of the country’s most dangerous criminals.

Some men, allegedly part of the gang, had been arrested in the past by the now disbanded Cato Manor organised crime unit for a spate of armed robberies and attempted murder cases in KwaZulu-Natal.

The case against them however collapsed because of tainted evidence and the men were released.

The source said the police had been following strong leads in a bid to make a breakthrough in the case.

“These guys will survive until their next big robbery by blowing up ATMs and robbing banks,” he speculated.”

The gang ran a slick operation with cellular communication and hideouts countrywide.

Several of the suspects had been profiled when the police viewed CCTV footage from the casino, he added.

During the robbery, the men entered the casino through the staff entrance at 12.30am.

They used five vehicles and carried AK-47 and R5 rifles.

Two security guards and a reservist police constable were shot during the robbery.

Pretoria News

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