Contrary to multiple reports that one of the OR Tambo heist suspects bought a white Lamborghini with the spoils of the robbery, it has been confirmed that the car was bought about three years ago.
On Monday, a photo of the car, together with two men standing beside it in a garage made the rounds on the social media, with many people claiming that the men were members of the robbery gang.
One of the men standing beside the car subsequently took to the social media to clarify the viral report that they were suspects.
He wrote that they were not part of the gang that perpetrated the crime at the airport but are police investigators. He asserted that they took the photos at the crime scene – where they arrested one of the suspects, Tando Sonqishe, a businessman, who owns the car.
The investigator confirmed also that the businessman didn’t buy the car with the proceed of the robbery, as he has owned the R5m vehicle since 2014.
He wrote on his personal Facebook account: “So everyone thinks I’m [the] OR Tambo thief, haai. Calypso ke nna bra [it’s me brother] the foto was taken in the house of suspect when we arrested him [sic]”
Reliable sources close to the police investigation unit said that a large amount of money was recovered from Sonqishe’s luxurious home at Blue Valley Estate Home in Centurion near Pretoria.
The businessman made headlines in 2015 when he sued a car dealership for refusing to return a R1.1-million deposit he paid for a Porsche 911.
On Sunday, five suspects, including a police officer, allegedly linked to the heist were arrested at several locations in Gauteng. Three of them – France Manaka, Job Mnisi And Tshepo Thokune are believed to be security guards based at the airport.
The first suspect, a 30-year-old security guard with Guard force was nabbed in Tembisa on the East Rand.
The second arrest, of a 39-year old G4S security guard, was arrested at Elandsfontein shortly afterward.
The fifth person arrested is also a guard, who is responsible for perimeter duties at the airport.
Sonqishe, alongside the four other suspects appeared in court on Monday over the cash heist.
About the Heist: On March 7, suspects in a marked police vehicle intercepted a large sum of money – about R24 million – after a South African Airways flight landed at the international airport.
A white Mercedes-Benz is believed to have also been used in the operation. No shots were fired during the incident and no injuries were reported.
A high-level investigation involving all law enforcement agencies is still underway.
Meanwhile, the matter has been postponed toMarch 28 and 29, when the suspects are expected to apply for bail. They were charged with armed robbery.
According to multiple reports, the State will oppose their application.