FIVE heavily armed men from Qumbu were charged on Monday, 11 January for illegal possession of firearms and conspiracy to commit robbery, according to Eastern Cape police.
Police recovered a 9mm Z88 firearm with five rounds, an Uzi with 16 live rounds of ammunition in a bag, one 9mm Norinco with six live rounds, an axe and a big knife hidden under the seats.
All five suspects are expected to appear in the Mount Frere Magistrates Court facing charges of possession of dangerous weapons, possession of prohibited firearms and ammunition, conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a suspected stolen motor vehicle.
Police spokesman Khaya Tonjeni said the arrests followed after police intelligence received information about a white Nissan GO with dark windows with five occupants travelling from Qumbu to Mount Frere.
Tonjeni said according to the information, all occupants were heavily armed. As a result police immediately activated the combat team to assist.
“A vehicle fitting the above description was seen driving on the opposite side towards Mount Frere. Police made a U-turn and continued following the vehicle at a distance until it was stuck in a traffic jam at Qumbu CBD,” said Tonjeni.
He said the driver of the suspected vehicle in front made a quick U-turn in the Qumbu direction, “trying to evade police but the suspect’s vehicle was ultimately cornered”.
“All the occupants were instructed to get out of the vehicle and lie down and police arrested them,” he said.
Eastern Cape commissioner Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga commended the teamwork leading to the arrest.
“Your actions saved lives, protected private property and ensured that all are protected from marauding criminals,” she said emphatically.