Vast underground bunker in Valhalla Park raided
POLICE seized a large cache of illegal firearms – at least 250 guns – in a house in Valhalla Park, along with ammunition and an undisclosed amount of cash yesterday.
Police, who arrested four people believed to be related, said some of the firearms had been hidden in a vast underground bunker. The fire- arms were found following a tip-off.
Acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane lauded the officers for their sterling detective work.
“We are confident that this cache will assist us in clamping down on the scourge of gangsterism as well as in reducing crime trends which affect our communities, such as murder and vehicle hijackings,” Phahlane said.
Despite the serious nature of the crime, the Valhalla Park community vented their anger at the police.
Infuriated locals shouted at police, demanding they free the four suspects, who include a businessman from the area, his father and his sister.
They claimed police officers, who arrived at the house at around 6:15am, tortured the main suspect.
A neighbour, Eugenia Traut, said she had been woken by screaming.
Traut said she feared for the man’s life, claiming police had confiscated his medical treatment.
“We are not stopping them (police) from doing their job, but they don’t have to be harsh. No, it’s not right,” Traut added.
A resident, Sandra September said: “He is a good man. He helps us here in the com- munity and is a role model to our children. He makes his money the right way and has a construction business where he employs most of us.”
Desmond Vieldman said he grew up with the accused.
“He helps us, he is not violent.”
Phahlane said investigators had sealed off the premises as they were still looking for additional evidence against the family.
Police swooped on a home in Lydia Street, Valhalla Park, and found a quantity of firearms kept in three undergound safes. The angry community outside hurled insults at the police.