By Staff Reporter
Gauteng traffic police arrested 14 taxi operators for holding bus drivers and passengers hostage at gunpoint.
Gauteng provincial police commissioner General Elias Mawela confirmed the incident to Scrolla.Africa. He commended police from different units who worked together and apprehended the suspects.
Some 14 heavily armed suspects, mostly taxi operators and their security personnel, held two buses hostage and terrorised the drivers and passengers.
The terrified passengers were rescued by the Gauteng Traffic Police Public Transport Intervention Unit who arrested the suspects.
Gauteng traffic police spokesperson Sello Maremane said the suspects allegedly belong to one of the local taxi associations. They also had five security personnel.
“The suspects allegedly held two luxury busses hostage, pointing firearms at drivers and passengers, and demanded R5,000 from each bus for their release.
“The arrested suspects were taken to Orlando police station and are expected to face charges relating to the pointing of firearms, armed robbery, illegal possession of firearms, and impersonating the duties of a traffic police officer,” said Maremane.
He said about four rifles, five handguns, and live ammunition were confiscated by the Gauteng traffic police. Two of their vehicles were also impounded.
Gauteng traffic police have recently confiscated illegal firearms to ensure that Gauteng communities are and feel secure. “Illegal firearms are the largest contributor to serious and violent crimes.
“The Gauteng traffic police will continue with operations such as cordon and searches, roadblocks, and vehicle checkpoints with a view to rid Gauteng communities of these weapons,” he said.
Provincial police commissioner Elias Mawela said police will deal with a situation that threatens the stability of the taxi industry.
“Anyone found terrorizing public transport operators and impersonating the duties of a traffic officer will be severely punished,” added Maremane.
This article was first published by Scrolla.Africa