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Hundreds arrested during Easter holiday crime blitz in Gauteng

22 April 2019 - 15:49 By Nonkululeko Njilo
More than 900 people were arrested during an Easter crime crackdown in Gauteng.
More than 900 people were arrested during an Easter crime crackdown in Gauteng.
Image: 123RF/rawpixel

More than 900 suspects were arrested during an extensive Easter holiday crime blitz across Gauteng, police said on Monday. 

“This massive multi-disciplinary operation led to the arrest of more than 905 suspects from Thursday, April 18 2019, as law enforcement agencies paved the way for smooth and crime-free holidays," said provincial police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele.  

“The operations focused mostly on the safety of travellers and prevention of importing and exporting of illicit goods.” 

People were arrested for various crimes that included the possession of dangerous weapons, possession of drugs, malicious damage to property, defeating the ends of justice, assault GBH, intimidation, theft, driving while under the influence of alcohol, common assault, rape, fraud and kidnapping.

Following the operation, counterfeit goods worth R18.5m were confiscated and traffic fines totalling more than R80,000 were issued.  

Fourteen unlicensed firearms were recovered and four vehicles were taken off the road for not being roadworthy, according to Makhubele.

Makhubele said the operation was conducted under the command of Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela, in conjunction with community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane. 

“[They] started to walk the streets of Gauteng ... taxi ranks, bus stops and train stations as early as 2am on Thursday morning to ensure that the criminals don’t take advantage of travellers during the Easter holidays,” said Makhubele.

Roadblocks were held in five districts of Gauteng and searches were conducted on national roads, at boutiques and wholesalers.

The operation included tracing wanted suspects as well as raiding hostels, liquor outlets and second-hand goods dealers. 

Hundreds of law enforcement members were deployed on national routes, at tourist destinations, shopping malls and other hot spots for the duration of the Easter holidays.