Following a robbery attack that took place at Or Tambo international airport, where an estimated R200 million in foreign currency was seized at a cargo bay, a new report has it that the police got tipped off 90 minutes before the incidence.
According to the emerging report from The Times, officials at the airport were given a warning about 90 minutes before the robbery last week.
The daring experience at the OR Tambo airport where robbers parading as police in police vans, sirens and blue light could have been stopped by the airport authority officials on duty if they had bothered to answered their phones. A junior officer had received an anonymous phone call tipping off police who in turn tried to reach the officers on duty.
“The Times has established that the warning about the heist on Tuesday last week was phoned in to the police charge office at the airport. The anonymous caller gave detailed information. The call was at about 6pm – nearly an hour and a half before the crime.
“But instead of senior officers reacting, it was left to the junior officer who took the anonymous call to raise the alarm.
“The alarm was not only raised with senior police officers but also with Airports Company of SA (Acsa) officials and airport security personnel, including guards at gates around the airport,” the paper reported.
National police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane had earlier confirmed the arrest of four suspects including a policeman‚ in connection with the daring heist, the paper reported that two of the suspects arrested were Zimbabweans
They were reportedly caught by Polokwane Crime Intelligence officers with nearly R100 000 in cash when they were about to cross the border into Zimbabwe.
Two of the suspects appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court but were already granted R50,000 bail each but are due to return back in the Kempton Park magistrate’s court next Friday.
While Acsa reportedly refused to comment on the alleged warnings, acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane said police were treating the reports of a tip-off as “rumours”
The acting police commissioner also noted that they could not rule out whether more police officers would be arrested.
“What I can say is that two men appeared in court today on charges of armed robbery,” he said as he declined to elaborate on who the suspects were‚ their identities or anything on the police officer.