In what looked like “a drama scripted from an action Hollywood movie”, armed robbers ‘pose as police’, raid Johannesburg’s international airport in South Africa.
The thieves reportedly drove into a restricted zone and took containers of cash. Estimates vary but reports suggest that millions of dollars in different currencies may have been stolen.
The company that operates OR Tambo Airport, the continent’s busiest, confirmed a robbery had taken place. In a statement released by the Airports Company South Africa about the robbery, they said:
“No shots were fired and no injuries have been reported. The robbers fled.” The Hawks, an elite police unit, declined to release details.
BBC reports that South African journalist Graeme Hosken told the BBC’s Newsday programme that the thieves, who used special access passes to get into the airport, knew exactly which containers to take and were careful to get hold of small denomination notes, which are thought to be easier to pass on.
A police spokeswoman, Athlenda Mathe, was quoted by South African broadcaster eNCA as saying she could not comment on “how much money exactly was stolen”.
Guards from a private security firm protecting the valuable cargo were stopped by the robbers, who were travelling in a vehicle marked with “police”, TimesLive says. There have been reports of other high-value cargo robberies in recent years at the airport.