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An alleged 10-member syndicate‚ including police officers‚ suspected of selling commercial explosives‚ has been arrested in the Free State.

The suspects were arrested during a joint operation this week between the Hawks’ National Bureau of Illegal Firearms Control and Priority Violent Crimes unit‚ the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) and Crime Intelligence.

“The ten suspects aged between 28 and 46[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]– three amongst them are police officers – are alleged to have been supplying criminal syndicates with explosives commonly used to bomb ATMs‚ cash-in-transit vehicles and vaults for cash at institutions other than the banks‚” the police said in a statement.

Acting National Head of the Hawks Yolisa Matakata described the arrest of the group as a victory.

“These arrests are indicative of the effectiveness of collaboration between law enforcement agencies in the fight against organised criminal behaviour. Our multidisciplinary approach has further demonstrated the ability of law enforcement agencies to work together to investigate‚ prosecute and disrupt organised criminal groups.

“I am extremely disappointed though about the arrest of three police officers. Breaking the very laws we are sworn to uphold is absolutely not acceptable. However‚ these alleged actions of a few should not reflect on the thousands who do the right thing every day‚” she said.

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