Zimbabwe police solved OR Tambo cash heist puzzle

Zimbabwe police solved OR Tambo cash heist puzzle
Published: 20 March 2017 (383 Views)

Bragging and going on a spending spree is the last thing any self-respecting heist kingpin should do.

The alleged heist kingpin who bought himself a R5 million Lamborghini after the OR Tambo International Airport robbery posted pictures of his new toy on social media.

If he is guilty‚ he could have evaded the law by following the news. If he did‚ he would have seen this story on Times Media at the beginning of March: Remember the R115m airport heist in Johannesburg 16 years ago? This is how the robbers were caught.

Hindsight is 20/20‚ as the saying goes. So here is the story‚ in case you missed it:

Two days after Christmas in 2001‚ a heavily armed group of men staged a brazen daylight heist at the airport in Johannesburg and escaped with R115 million worth of foreign currency‚ diamonds and jewellery.

The cash was aboard an aircraft‚ destined for delivery to banks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola‚ at what was then known as Johannesburg International Airport.

The robbers escaped with their loot in a truck‚ fled to Zimbabwe and embarked on an extravagant spending spree that raised so many eyebrows – it eventually led to their arrest.

"The robbers forced three security guards to load the cash‚ diamonds and jewellery — which had arrived on a flight from Amsterdam — onto the truck. They shot an airport security guard in one of his legs during their getaway‚" wrote Sunday Times reporter Mzilikazi Wa Afrika at the time.

The gang bought a second-hand BMW for R200 000 cash in Johannesburg.

In Zimbabwe‚ they paid a sangoma R800 000 for muti to keep the police away‚ exchanged some of the stolen dollars for R204 000 in Zimbabwean currency‚ booked themselves seven rooms in the three-star Rainbow Hotel in Bulawayo and paid cash for a Mitsubishi Pajero worth more than R200 000 at the time.

The orgy of spending saw them pay cash for two Mazda bakkies and a Ssangyong Musso. They also spent lavishly on furniture for unidentified women who accompanied them. They bought several properties in Bulawayo as well as nearby Gokwe and Begweru.

Members of the public alerted police about a group of men that were living like royalty‚ spending money on fast cars‚ prostitutes and staying at luxury hotels in Zimbabwe.

A Zimbabwean police spokesman‚ Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena‚ told the Sunday Times‚ "The suspects were living like kings out of their loot and purchasing anything that money can buy".

But without concrete proof that it was stolen money the police could not act.

"The puzzle was finally solved when the South African police approached us and explained how a gang made off with millions of rands at Johannesburg International Airport" explained Wayne Bvudzijena.

Four men were arrested when police raided the hotel and a second property owned by the gang. The men were handed over to the South African Police.

One of the men was on the most wanted list in South Africa for escaping from prison. He was serving a 15-year sentence for armed robbery at the time.

- timesLIVE

Tags: Police, ZRP, Heist,
 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Grace Mugabe fears attacks and the assassination of her children?

by Dinizulu Mbikokayise Macaphulana | 22 August 2017 | 65 Views

Tendai Ndoro signs for Saudi Arabia outfit Al Faisaly FC

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 36 Views

Zimbabweans in UK in 105km #WalkForFreedom

by Kingstone Jambawo | 22 August 2017 | 30 Views

Ibutho Lenqama welcomes the crown Prince Bulelani Lobhengula Khumalo

by Junior Ngwenya (Ibutho leNqama Spokeperson) | 22 August 2017 | 32 Views

Simon Muzenda's wife dies

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 56 Views

Man demands 75c sex

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 43 Views

Lobola conman convicted

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 32 Views

Wife bashed over wet panties

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 33 Views

Prophet, sangomas warned

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 31 Views

Male sex workers on the rise

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 28 Views

Sangoma's mirror exposes cheating wife

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 25 Views

Thuli Madonsela wades into Grace Mugabe saga

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 130 Views

WATCH: Mujuru supporters sing 'Mugabe has no kids'

by Staff Reporter | 22 August 2017 | 190 Views

Grace Mugabe fear attacks and the assassination of her children?

by Dinizulu Mbikokayise Macaphulana | 22 August 2017 | 149 Views

Grace Mugabe: diplomatic immunity isn't an 'out of jail' ticket

by Gerhard Kemp | 22 August 2017 | 83 Views

SADC should be more pro-active

by Obert Chaurura Gutu | 22 August 2017 | 50 Views

What you need to know before your embark on your safari adventure

by Staff Reporter | 22 August 2017 | 49 Views

Customer Experience and Service Delivery Symposium on cards

by Agencies | 22 August 2017 | 44 Views

Air Zimbabwe loses $2m monthly

by Staff Reporter | 22 August 2017 | 67 Views

Anti-Grace Mugabe war vet leader wears another protest T-shirt

by Staff Reporter | 22 August 2017 | 106 Views

Govt deploys soldiers to supervise harvesting of maize

by Staff Reporter | 22 August 2017 | 82 Views

'Harare among world's worst cities to live in'

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 57 Views

Grace Mugabe: diplomatic immunity isn't an ‘out of jail' ticket

by Gerhard Kemp | 22 August 2017 | 175 Views

Just how powerful is Grace Mugabe?

by Betha Madhomu | 22 August 2017 | 165 Views

Grace Mugabe warned!

by Stephen Jakes | 22 August 2017 | 290 Views

Granting Grace diplomatic was more political motivated - Obert Gutu

by Stephen Jakes | 22 August 2017 | 138 Views

Family disowns son over anti-Mphoko remarks

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 208 Views

Bogus land developers swindle Diasporans

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 101 Views

Zanu-PF coy on Heroes' Acre skirmishes

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 99 Views

Pastor rapes, impregnates congregant

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 102 Views

Tsvangirai describe the youth vote as a possible game changer

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 105 Views

Mugabe will fall with Zanu PF

by Stephen Jakes | 22 August 2017 | 144 Views

4 sisters beheaded

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 90 Views

Shocking STIs stats at NUST

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 121 Views

Zimbabwean pastor, wife shot dead in SA

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 94 Views

Beitbridge Border Post security tightened

by Staff reporter | 22 August 2017 | 102 Views