Heist to cost SAPS R40 million

SAPS ordered to repay R40 million to British company after money kept at a police station was stolen.

The SAPS has been ordered to pay nearly R40 million to a British company after money kept at a police station was stolen. Picture:EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Police Service (SAPS) has been ordered to repay nearly R40 million to a British company after money kept at a police station following a heist was stolen.

The order is in relation to a R100 million aircraft heist at OR Tambo International Airport in 2006.

Six men were convicted in 2012 of stealing a consignment of banknotes worth R100 million from an aircraft that arrived from London.

The robbers were subsequently caught and the money recovered. The money was then taken to the Benoni police station for safekeeping where R14 million was stolen.

Judge Nigel Willis ruled that the theft of the money had to be a "simulated break in".

"It is quite clear that this money could only have been taken by police officers. Access to the safe to remove sums of money could only have been achieved through inside knowledge of police officers."

The court also ruled that National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega must review the investigation into the suspension of three officers that were originally charged with theft.

SAPS's Solomon Makgale said the charges were later withdrawn due to lack of evidence. The SAPS says it however still wants to appeal certain parts of the judgment.

Makgale says they're still waiting for a court date for the appeal.