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S. Africa: Heist Suspect Posts Car Picture, Is Arrested

Newsweek logo Newsweek 20/03/2017 Conor Gaffey

© Reuters South African police have reportedly arrested a suspect in an audacious airport heist after he posted pictures on social media of a luxury supercar.

The suspect was arrested Sunday in Centurion, a wealthy area close to the administrative capital Pretoria, according to South African news site Times Live. The arrest took place after the suspect posted pictures on social media of himself posing with a white Lamborghini.

A group of criminals, disguised in police uniforms and driving fake police vehicles, stole millions of rand’s worth of foreign currency from a security vehicle at O.R. Tambo International Airport, the main airport in Johannesburg, on March 7. The foreign currency was due to be deposited on a flight to London.

Police have not confirmed how much was stolen, though Times Live reported it was in the region of 200 million rand ($15.8 million). Other news agencies have cited lower figures.

© Provided by IBT Media Newsweek contacted South Africa’s elite police unit, the Hawks, for comment on the arrest but received no immediate reply.

South Africa’s acting police chief Khomotso Phahlane has refused to confirm the report. “I’ve seen some pictures on social media. Can people just allow us to conduct an investigation and at a point where we’ve got something credible to come back to mention and report, we’ll do so,” said Phahlane at a press conference, South Africa’s Eyewitness News reported Monday.

Phahlane confirmed last week that four people had been arrested in connection with the heist, one of whom was a police officer. Phahlane said that investigators had not ruled out the possibility that the robbery was an “inside job” orchestrated with the help of police officers.

As well as the suspect with the luxury car, a further four people were arrested over the weekend, according to the BBC.

Social media users in South Africa have mocked the suspect’s apparent carelessness in posting pictures of the luxury vehicle, while others have queried whether the owner had purchased the vehicle long before the heist.


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