Jul 1, 2017: The management of O R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg has confirmed that an armed robber was shot dead and another arrested in an encounter between the South African police and the airport security after they held up Swissport security guards at the cargo precinct on Saturday (July 1) morning.

“A group of armed men held up and overpowered security guards employed by Checkport at the Swissport warehouse at the cargo precinct,” said Leigh Gunkel-Keuler, spokesperson for O R Tambo International Airport, in an official statement.

The robbery took place on the public access land side of the cargo precinct and the robbers did not gain access to the air side of the airport.

It is alleged that the robbers made off in a hijacked cargo truck. Members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) and Reshebile Protection Services responded immediately. Reshebile is contracted to provide security services to the airport.

A few kilometres from the cargo precinct, at the Kempton Park off-ramp of the highway, the robbers were confronted by SAPS members and Reshebile security staff. Two members of the gang attempted to flee on foot.

Bob Gurr, Vice President of Swissport South Africa, confirmed that it is not known at this stage exactly how many robbers carried out the hold-up as well as what was in fact stolen as part of the robbery. The investigations will continue.

Gunkel-Keuler says airport management thanks both the SAPS and the Reshebile staff for their immediate response and swift action. “This speaks of the collaborative effort between the airport management, SAPS and other key stakeholders in an attempt to arrest this very dire crime situation.

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