BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that a former police colonel, Chris Prinsloo has been sentenced to 18 years behind bars for crimes which include stealing and reselling confiscated guns to gangsters.
The 55-year-old former Vereeniging colonel resigned shortly after he was arrested in January last year.
First, he was arrested on January 16 and released on R5 000 bail. But then, re-arrested on the 6th of July and transferred to Cape Town to face 28 charges ranging from murder to attempted murder, theft, corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering.
Police believe that Prinsloo illicitly gained about R2 million in 8 years, arming gangsters on the Cape Flats as records indicated that a total of 2,400 guns were stolen.
Prinsloo was in charge of the armory. When he was arrested, 400 firearm magazines and 10 000 rounds of ammunition were recovered.
To the State, Prinsloo was part of a group of criminals who stole guns and ammunition and resold them.
It argued that the former Vereeniging colonel abused his position of authority and police supply chain resources by stealing weapons from its storage facilities.
As culled from the provisional charge sheet, Prinsloo and others ‘known or unknown to the State’, formed a criminal group and continuously acted in common purpose to commit the crimes.
The criminal group operations involve stealing ‘firearms and ammunition destined for destruction’ and supplying them to criminals who are ‘members of gangs on the Cape Flats’
According to the charge sheet, there’s a high demand ‘for illicitly obtained firearms and ammunition to further the gang wars that raged in the Western Cape.’
As such, the State alleged that Prinsloo exploited his access to the armory and his 35 years experience in the force to facilitate the offences and deliver the weaponry.