An intelligence driven operation leads to arrest of six suspects for unlawful possession of high calibre firearms suspected to have been stolen from a police station.

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An intelligence driven operation leads to arrest of six suspects for unlawful possession of high calibre firearms suspected to have been stolen from a police station.

Police formations in Mpumalanga comprising of the Anti-Gang Unit, Provincial Tracing Team, Tactical Response Team and the Provincial Investigative Unit conducted an Intelligence Driven Operation where six men, aged between 24 and 66, were arrested yesterday and have appeared before the Bushbuckridge Magistrate’s Court for serious crimes. The suspects were arrested in Bushbuckridge, possibly planning a robbery using three firearms, two high calibre rifles and a revolver, which were seized.

Reports indicate that the different units operationalised the intelligence information where a white Mazda single cab bakkie, was spotted with a group of men at the back. Police ordered the driver to halt the bakkie but were ignored culminating into a high-speed chase. The suspects began firing shots towards police damaging their vehicle.

The police returned fire and one suspect was shot and he sustained an injury while another was injured whilst trying to flee by jumping from the moving vehicle. The vehicle of the suspects overturned and police swiftly arrested the four other suspects. The injured suspects are currently receiving medical attention in hospital and are under police guard.

The suspects are facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, conspiracy to commit business robbery as well as attempted murder. The police probe will also look into whether the suspects were not involved in other criminal activities elsewhere. Police also suspect that one of the firearms, might have been stolen from a robbery that took place at Bushbuckridge Police Station some time last year or robbed from a Tactical Response Team member earlier this year.

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Manamela has praised the members for their swift response which resulted in the breakthrough.

 “We pride ourselves with the excellent work done by these committed members. With such resilience, the province can be sure of the realisation of a safe environment for all citizens,” said General Manamela.

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