Director of Crime Intelligence, Nunu Lesetedi activated a “ code red” and issued the kill order against 10 suspected cash in transit robbers who were holed inside a safe house at Phase Two opposite the Gaborone Central Business District Sunday Standard investigations have revealed.
A code red is one of several military slang terms that refers to a form of extrajudicial punishment — a type of punishment that’s carried out without a court’s oversight or any form of legal approval.
It is understood that Lesetedi’s activated the Code Red after it emerged that the bandits were holding off against a consignment of Botswana police officers who were first on the frontline, and had shot one of the officers on the right hand. That is when when Lesetedi decided to deploy the big guns.
Seven members of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) Special Task Team (STT) were dispatched to flush out the suspected robbers who were holed inside the safe house from where they opened fire. For close to seven hours the bandits armed with one AK47 assault rifle and four pistols traded gunfire with the highly trained and heavily armed Galil touting DIS special forces. The seven who were recruited from the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Special Forces have been trained in close quarter and indoor fighting
In an interview with theSunday Standard, Senior Assistant Commissioner Lesetedi confirmed that he issued instructions to his intelligence team to wipe out all dangerous criminals in self defense because the suspects were armed and not cooperative. He said this was evidenced by exchange of fire between the police and the suspected armed robbers.
Lesetedi further confirmed that one of the DIS commandos sustained an injury in the shoot out after he was shot on his upper right hand. The agent is currently recovering and was released from hospital recently.
Lesetedi would neither confirm nor deny that the instructions were from Police Commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe and Minister of Defense Justice and Security, Kagiso Mmusi.
Botswana Police Service Assistance Commissioner Dipheko Motube stated in a press release that the robbers fled the scene and were later on followed and confronted by the police. An exchange of fire ensued resulting in fatal injuries to some of the robbers
He said the heist took place at main mall next to Bank of Baroda after 11 armed men attacked and robbed security systems Cash in Transit (CIT) motor vehicle of over P986, 000.00.
An insider who was part of the operation explained to the Sunday Standard that when the seven elite force members arrived at the scene, Lesetedi who was leading the operation pulled back all police officers from the front line as members of the Special Force insist on working in a small team and only with fellow commandos.
The seal team was called in after one of the police officers was shot and injured on his right hand.
“When dangerous criminals or state enemies enter a closed compound like what is happening in the Security Systems (Pty) Ltd /Bank of Baroda heist, gears changed, red flags are up and it’s called code Red, and this is when head of mission has to call Counter terrorism trained operatives, and hostage freeing teams to assist,” said a BDF members who was part of the surveillance team.
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