Lauds Foundry Equipment staff subjected to traumatic murder and robbery experience

Described as an hour of hell at work, 15 robbers ransack a company based in Wadeville and kill long serving engineer Gregory Movchits.

An armed gang of around 15 men stormed the Lauds Foundry Equipment premises in Wadeville‚ Ekurhuleni on Wednesday morning 22nd February 2017. The gang then proceeded to shoot Movchits before holding staff hostage for an hour while they ransacked the business premises‚ taking stock‚ computers and the staff’s personal belongings.

“They arrived in a white truck while others came in on foot‚” an employee said.

“They were armed with firearms and four of them pointed their firearms at the employees and forced them to open the door so that they could gain entry to the building.”

After entry was gained all the employees present at that stage were tied up with shoelaces, and those who arrived later also had firearms pointed at them and were taken to where the others were being kept tied up.

When the last employee arrived at the business premises, the suspects approached him and spoke to him. However, it is alleged the employee, 75-year-old Movchits, who spoke broken English, and the criminals misunderstood each other due to the language barrier.

It is alleged one of the suspects then shot Movchits once in the upper body, fatally wounding him.

The suspects then allegedly forced one of the security officers to show them how to operate the forklift, which they used to load drums onto an eight-ton truck. More than 50, 250 kilogram drums of nickel (a precious metal) were taken.

The nickel, said to be worth more than R1 million, was loaded onto an eight-ton truck with an unknown registration number. The suspects then fled the scene in a utility bakkie and a truck.

Lauds Foundry Equipment’s premises were also broken into several days before this incident‚ during which equipment was taken and the CCTV cameras were ripped out. Unfortunately the cameras had not yet been repaired at the time of this robbery. It was not immediately clear whether the two incidents were linked.

The Elsburg police are investigating cases of murder and business robbery.