“The service providers have confirmed that the majority of the items are activated in Nigeria,” Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale said.

“The recipients use courier services to send the items to Nigeria.”

Gauteng and the Western Cape have been hardest hit by a succession of armed robberies taking place at malls over the last few months.

In almost all the cases, the robbers’ loot has consisted of electronic devices, especially cellphones

On Saturday, Makgale said that an ongoing police investigation had identified that there were several groups involved in the robberies.

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“The groups aren’t necessarily collaborating, but some of them have common individual members: In other words, you find one person involved with two or three groups.”

Makgale said that on Saturday, a man had been arrested in Kwazulu-Natal in connection with the mall robberies.

He said police investigations had already linked four people previously arrested in separate incidents, to eight other cases.

He said police investigations had already linked four people previously arrested in separate incidents, to eight other cases.

New task team has been set up to tackle mall robberies

A recently established task team, which included crime intelligence officials as well as representatives from Vodacom, Cell-C, MTN and Telkom, was currently looking at 18 incidents related to mall robberies.

“We very close to affecting more arrests.”

He said preventative measures, including police patrols at shopping centres, had also been put into place.

Most recently, on Friday, seven people were arrested in connection with two separate incidents whereby a Telkom store at Irene Mall was held up at gunpoint, and a shoot-out took place between robbers and police at Centurion Mall.

Author: SAPA