Saturday, March 6, 2021

Police close in on criminal ring tied to Palapye shooting

Security agents have been dispatched to close in on a criminal syndicate that is said to be fully operating in Francistown, Selibi-Phikwe and Palapye following the death of a customer Ishmael Sepako who was shot by armed robbers at a fast food outlet, Hungry Lion, in Palapye a few days ago.

The three separate areas are reported to have been hit hard by criminal activities and thousands of money and property belonging to residents and businesses stolen have been at gun point. The robberies are linked to a syndicate which is suspected to have links with particular notorious criminal syndicates in South Africa.

Information reaching this publication suggests that security agents have been dispatched in large numbers to close in on the notorious criminal syndicate that is currently terrorising the business community in Francistown, Selibi-Phikwe and Palapye.

It is understood that the intelligence by security agents have revealed that the criminal syndicate is made up of foreign nationals who are also part of another syndicate that is operating in South Africa and involved in a series of criminal activities.

It is also understood that some of the suspects are career criminals who have escaped from lawful custody in South African and have now found a safe haven in Botswana.

South African police, it is understood, have acknowledged the escape from incarceration by the criminals and has asked Botswana to assist with information leading to the arrest of the suspected gang.

Senior Superintendent, Near Bagali, stated that so far Selibe Phikwe police have successfully arrested three foreign nationals aged between 25 and 29 who are linked to armed robbery incidents around Selibe Phikwe.

He added that two other suspects are still at large and police are closely trailing them.

Bagali stated that they have not yet arrested the two suspects who allegedly shot dead the 40 year old man in one of the fast food outlets in Palapye.

He said though police investigation is continuing they cannot rule out the possibility that the three arrests in Phikwe might have a link with the Palapye shooting. 

Detective Senior Superintendent Israel Tuelo of Francistown said last December his policing area was rocked by a spate of armed robberies especially business establishments.

He confirmed that the three suspects arrested by Phikwe police are implicated in the armed robberies that occurred in his policing area.

He urged the public to assist the police with information that may lead to the arrest of other suspects involved in criminal activities.

Meanwhile the dead man’s family is appealing to the members of the public with information that would lead to the arrest of the suspected killers.

The deceased’s sister Judith Mokgweetsi said, “I did not expect that my brother could be killed in such a brutal manner and the most heart breaking thing is the fact that he was shot dead in a shop.”

Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of Sepako who was buried on Sunday in Palapye.

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