The Hawks said that 11 suspects were arrested, six of those were unharmed whilst two were injured and are under hospital guard, while three were killed. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency/ANA
Cape Town – A joint multi-disciplinary team which includes Hawks’ National Priority Violent Crimes (NPVC), Crime Intelligence, Special Task Force and National Intervention Unit (NIU) led to the arrest of eleven suspects on Tuesday and the discovery of an undisclosed amount of money.

The team swiftly acted on information received about suspects allegedly involved in multiple cash-in-transit heists in the Eastern Cape. They were intercepted whilst travelling on the N1 near Paarl towards Cape Town on Tuesday afternoon, the Hawks said.

"The occupants of the taxi allegedly fired at the team and the police returned fire. Consequently, 11 suspects were arrested, six of those were unharmed whilst two were injured and are under hospital guard. Three of the suspects were fatally wounded and that incident is being investigated by the IPID," Hawks spokesperson, Philani Nkwalase .

"Those arrested are facing charges of attempted murder, possession of suspected stolen property and the investigation is ongoing."

Police minister Bheki Cele revealed back in September when crime stats were released that cash-in-transit heists and truckjackings had decreased in the year under review.

“It is interesting that nobody speaks on cash heists anymore,” he said.

“While we are not where we want to be, we are definitely not where we were, there are glimmers of improvements. We have recorded decreases in crimes of fear such as cash-in-transit heists, bank robberies, car and truck hijackings as well as robbery at non-residential premises.”

Also, The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) researcher, Johan Burger said despite recent high-profile arrests, cash-in-transit robbery remained a serious threat in South Africa.

“Among those arrested were members of the SAPS, metro police and private security companies,” he said.

Corrupt officials were involved in these violent crimes, and research showed that the problem extended beyond the police, Burger pointed out.

Cape Argus