90 years for OR Tambo airport armed robbery trio

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OR Tambo International Airport

Three men have been convicted for a total of 90 years for carrying out an armed robbery at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.

Three men carried out the robbery in March 2017, making off with 24 million rand in foreign currency by snatching 27 bags from a South African Airways flight.

The court heard how the three men entered the airport wearing police uniforms and used two vehicles, one of which was marked as a police vehicle and the other was fitted with sirens and blue lights.

According to News24, Sibusiso Job Mnisi was sentenced to 15 years for conspiracy to commit robbery, Frans Mathabatha Manaka received 30 years for two counts of robbery, and Prince Raphael Dube was given 45 years for two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, one of theft and another of false representation for pretending to be a police officer.

Airport operator, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) applauded the South African Police Services and the National Prosecuting Authority on the conviction.

It says: “Airports Company South Africa is most appreciative of the tremendous work of the investigative team and the prosecutors in bringing to justice those responsible for this serious crime.”

ACSA describes the sentences as “significant” and hopefully will act as a deterrent to “those seeking to disrupt one of South Africa’s main ports of entry”.

The airport operator says security executives have followed the investigation and trial, to see what improvements need to be made.

ACSA says: “Shortly after the robbery, certain procedures were changed, and we have considerably expanded monitoring of every part of the security system both inside and outside of the airport environment.”