A top cop believes more officers are involved in a syndicate that stole confiscated firearms from a police armoury and sold them to Western Cape gangsters.
And Major General Jeremy Vearey says some officers in police management should also be investigated, claiming they are partially to blame for the escalating gang violence on the Cape Flats over the past three years.
Following the conviction of former cop Christiaan Prinsloo, as well as the arrest of his alleged middleman, Cape businessman Irshaad “Hunter” Laher, police investigators say they are close to cracking a nationwide gun smuggling ring.
Vearey, the police cluster commander for Cape Town, said “many similar arrests” will follow soon.
Prinsloo was sentenced to 18 years for stealing and selling guns, allegedly to Laher, the former owner of two Spur and two Nando’s franchises, which he was forced to sell after his arrest.
Laher is accused of supplying the stolen firearms to gangs like the Americans, Mongrels and Hard Livings on the Flats.
Western Cape cops reportedly launched a probe in 2013, after noticing an increase in the use of illegal guns on the Cape Flats.
In an interview with eNCA on Saturday night, Vearey said evidence led him to believe that more cops are involved.
He said ballistics analysis points to one “unique” way in which the guns were “cleaned” before being sold to gangsters.
This way is “so unique that the knowledge that would be required to make the alterations and destroy all the visible identifying marks on the firearm, could only be done by a police armourer.”
In July 2015, a Mongrels leader told the Daily Voice the gang had bought 200 guns from Prinsloo.
Vearey explained: “Firstly, you’ll notice that all the serial numbers were removed exactly the same way. You could see it was professionally done.”
Vearey also wants top cops to be probed for negligence.
He says: “How did your compliance monitoring as a manager, as a provincial commissioner at the time, slip so that something like this can happen and fuel gang violence between 2007 and now at the scale at which we have it now?
“We must go after those people who are responsible for the management function that enabled this crisis to occur.”