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Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport was last night the scene of an estimated US$15-million heist.
According to airport operator ACSA, the “armed robbery” took place around 7.45pm on Tuesday evening.
“No shots were fired and no injuries have been reported. The robbers fled and it is not known at this stage what, if anything, was taken during the incident,” the operator adds.
Armed robbery at O.R. Tambo International Airport: https://t.co/lPVDEgWErJ
— ORTambo (@ortambo_int) March 7, 2017
The SAA flight transporting the goods was due to travel to London.
SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali explained that the incident “happened at a time before the consignment, which contained high-value items, was due to be loaded into the aircraft”.
Details of the incident soon hit social media, with #ORTamboRobbery still trending at the time of writing.
OR Tambo robbery? Where was the security?
ACSA has announced that it would increase the security presence in the wake of the heist, but that hasn’t appeased some on the internet.
— Maps Maponyane (@MapsMaponyane) March 8, 2017
— Yashani D (@Ashley_Dorothy) March 8, 2017
440 soldiers to protect #zuma from EFF in parliament but at OR Tambo int airport a few police and security guards ?
— Mike (@mike_superb) March 8, 2017
— phoεnix (@Phoenix_Mash) March 8, 2017
They decided to attack OR Tambo last night because they knew the security guards would be watching champions league pic.twitter.com/eSfvhZsPt8
— Jaguar Paw (@Mr_phreshbreeze) March 8, 2017
ACSA and the South African Police Service are currently investigating the incident.
OR Tambo International is Africa’s “biggest and busiest airport”, and sees more than 19-million passengers traverse its terminals yearly. In 2014, 390 000 tons of air cargo passed through the airport.