South African Airways (SAA) says it can’t rule out the possibility that a brazen robbery at OR Tambo International Airport could have been an inside job.
A consignment carrying high-level goods due to be transported on one of its planes was intercepted by a gang on Tuesday.
The airline has moved to clarify that its aircraft was not affected and has dismissed reports suggesting that R24 million was taken.
SAA’s Tlali Tlali says the heist happened at the air side of the airport, an area which only personnel with the appropriate access tags can access.
“The time when the incident occurred, the aircraft was not on site.”
He says no traveller or crew member was exposed to the crime.
Tlali could not divulge who the consignment belonged to.
“The consignment that was targeted yesterday is high-value items that were inside that particular container.”
The police, the Hawks and the Airport Company of South Africa (Acsa) are investigating the matter, while SAA has launched its own probe.
Acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane this morning deployed a team of senior investigators to determine how the heist took place.
Phahlane’s office said they can’t divulge any details regarding the investigation yet as the authorities still try to gather more clarity about what transpired.
Phahlane’s spokesperson Athlenda Mathe said the team is working closely with the Hawks.
“We’re not in a position to speak further on the matter until we’ve more facts. We can confirm that we’re working alongside the Airport Company of South Africa.”
The police commissioner’s office says travellers’ security remains a top priority.