No fewer than 996 suspects were arrested over seven days through well organised interventions under Operation Safer Festive Season, Eastern Cape police spokesperson Colonel Sibongile Soci reported.
Out of the 996 suspects, ten were arrested for rape, 145 assault GBH, 50 burglary, 13 murder, 50 for burglary, 40 assault common and 28 for robberies.
“Our approach was directed at hitting hard on the primary generators of crime, namely alcohol and drug abuse,” Soci said. “Seventy two suspects were apprehended for drinking in public while 14 were taken in for illegal dealing in liquor.”
A total of 20 300 litres of home brewed concoctions was destroyed during these operations and 30 000 litres of alcohol was also taken from illegal alcohol traders.
Eighty kilograms of cannabis, 295kg of crystal meth 1.16kg of cocaine and 1109 mandrax tablets were also confiscated in different places. A total of 88 suspects were arrested for drug related charges in this period.
In seven days, 128, J534 (admission of guilt) fines were issued to the value of R45 000. Also, 136 traffic fines to the value of R39 000 were issued to motorists did not comply with road rules, Soci said.
“Illegal trade costs the country huge amounts of revenue and as a result, police have a responsibility to inspect second-hand goods, as well as guard our borders and entry points against contraband,” Soci said. “At least 189 cellphones, 3792 items of counterfeit goods and fake money to the value of R3785 were also recovered.
“In the fight against proliferation of illegal firearms and dangerous weapons, seven suspects were arrested for illegal possession of firearms while 12 firearms and 72 items of ammunition were taken for illegal hands. All these firearms will be taken for ballistic testing to determine their previous use in commission of crime.”
In an effort to fight unnecessary murder and injuries, 247 knives had been confiscated, Soci said.
Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga had applauded the arrests. “Operation Safer festive Season must continue to make our citizens and their property safe from criminals,” said Ntshinga.