Police yet to recover P17.5m from heists

On Guard: Armed officers
On Guard: Armed officers

Minister of Defence and Security Kagiso Mmusi has revealed that they are yet to recover P17.5 million stolen in all heists since April 2018.

The millions of pula are monies stolen in cash-in-transit heists, bank robberies, and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) blasts. Responding to a question in Parliament yesterday, Mmusi disclosed that cash stolen in all heists amounts to a total of P22.6 million. Out of the stolen cash, he said they have since been able to recover P5.1 million only.

In terms of recorded cash-in-transit heists, Mmusi indicated that no incident was recorded in 2018, one was recorded in 2019, two incidents were recorded in 2020, 14 incidents were recorded in 2021, and six incidents in 2022. Concerning the ATM blasts, Mmusi said no incident was recorded in 2018 and 2020, two incidents were recorded in 2019, five in 2021, and nine in 2022 respectively.

“Although there was an escalation of incidents, current indications are that there is a downward trend and with concerted efforts by law enforcement agencies, I can assure you that we will continue to see a reduction in this crime,” he emphasised.

Mmusi was responding to a question from Serowe South legislator Leepetswe Lesedi who had asked among others if the Ministry of Defence and Security would not consider deploying retired police and Botswana Defence Force personnel to assist law enforcement or arming security companies to control increasing heists and ATM blasts.

In response, Mmusi said: “Currently, there are no plans to deploy retired police and BDF personnel to assist law enforcement in the control of these crimes, as the situation is now under control. On the other hand, the issue of arming security companies to control cash heists and ATM blasts is under consideration by my ministry."

He said in an attempt to fight increasing heist cases, law enforcement agencies collaborated with the private security industry and the banking sectors and came up with a comprehensive response plan, as demonstrated by the reduced number of incidents.

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