On Thursday, 27 February 2014, members from Empangeni Crime Intelligence together with the Provincial Tracking Team and the Special Task Force arrested eight (8) suspects between the ages of 34 and 45 at Empangeni for conspiracy to commit armed robbery, illegal possession of firearms and being in possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Members from Empangeni Crime Intelligence had been investigating intelligence on a group of suspects who were going to commit an armed robbery in one of the big retail stores at Empangeni between Friday and Saturday morning. The members followed up on their investigations and spotted the suspects as well as the vehicles which were going to be used during the commission of the robbery in the Empangeni central business district. The Empangeni Crime Intelligence members requested back up from the Provincial Tracking Unit and Special Task Force.
An operation was conducted and the members stopped the two vehicles on the N2 North Bound. When the vehicles were searched the police recovered four unlicensed firearms hidden in the front door panel of the vehicle. Three 9mm pistols with eighteen (18) live rounds and one .38 revolver with six (6) live rounds were seized. The members also arrested an employee of the retail store which was to be robbed. The arrested suspects will be charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery, illegal possession of firearms as well as being in possession of a stolen motor vehicle and will appear at the Empangeni Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 3 February 2014.
KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni congratulated the police officers for preventing the robbery from taking place and apprehending the suspects. “It is very pleasing to hear of a crime being stopped in its tracks. We are mindful of the fact that these are ruthless criminals and it was quite possible that innocent lives could have been lost had we not intervened,” she said.