Johannesburg - Two employees from Dave Sheer Guns were arrested by the military police at OR Tambo International Airport on Thursday night as one of the men was trying to leave the country.
The arrests come after The Star revealed this week that the Dave Sheer Guns shop is at the centre of a Hawks investigation that involves allegations of bribing police officers to fast-track gun licences, buying stolen military ammunition and creating fraudulent export permits.
The two arrests are separate to the Hawks’ investigation. They follow the arrests of two soldiers and one civilian following the alleged theft of more than 200 000 rounds of military ammunition last month.
Sergeant Peter Motaung, a storeman at 21 Infantry Battalion in Lenasia, and Corporal Diphapa John Motloung, a communications clerk at the same unit, were charged with theft and fraud.
Motloung’s son Thabang was charged as an accessory to the theft and conspiracy to commit murder.
The alleged stolen ammunition was said to be worth more than R1 million.
A State witness whose affidavit was read out in court said the ammunition was sold to Dave Sheer Guns.
Forensic consultant Paul O’Sullivan said one of the accused was trying to catch a flight to New York.
His colleague heard of the arrest and came to the airport, where he was also apprehended.
“It’s appropriate that he not be allowed to leave the country,” said O’Sullivan. “He is a flight risk, and when he was arrested, he was trying to leave the country.
“As soon as we knew what his plans were, we alerted the military police and they swung into action. Justice has been served and we await with anticipation more arrests,” O’Sullivan said.
The accused, a director at Dave Sheer Guns, was escorted by military police to the holding cells just before 7pm.
He wheeled his suitcase and disappeared into the airport’s holding cells.
He was on his way to New York, from where he planned to travel to Las Vegas.
Dave Sheer Guns denies any wrongdoing.
The two accused were transported in separate police vans to Lenasia, south of Joburg, where they were to be held in custody on Thursday night.
The friend, who did not want to be identified, and two lawyers arrived just after 6pm and enquired from the police about the arrest.
Earlier, the SAPS had confirmed on Thursday that it was involved in a criminal investigation of the Central Firearms Registry, various police stations and provincial offices, and that it expected arrests.
Spokesman Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale declined to mention names.
“Nonetheless, we can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation across the entire gun licence issuance value chain and that this investigation is at an advanced stage.”
He said the police expected they would be able to give an update on this investigation early next week.
Makgale said that over the past year, criminal cases in connection with corruption were instituted against eight employees attached to the firearm, liquor and second-hand goods component of the police at station, provincial and national levels. This unit is responsible, among other duties, for the approval and issuing of firearm licences.