Police spokesman Major Thulani Zwane said the figure could rise as not all units had reported back.”The suspects were arrested for various offences including the possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, possession of drugs, possession of dagga, illegal immigration, illegal gambling, dealing in liquor without a license, dealing in illegal cigarettes, possession of counterfeit goods, murder, hijacking, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and contravening the Road Traffic Act,” he said.
The suspects were arrested on Thursday in Dundee, Greytown, KwaDukuza, Phoenix, Margate, Newcastle, Pietermaritzburg, Pinetown and Port Shepstone as part of the police’s ongoing operation.
Apart from police, officials and officers from the Department of Home Affairs, eThekwini Metro Police, and private security firms were involved in the operation. Zwane said that in one incident a car was stopped in Dundee and three pistols, a revolver and an AK47 rifle, with numerous rounds of ammunition were found and seized. The 30-year-old occupant of the car was arrested.
He could not immediately confirm how many of those arrested were illegal immigrants. Operation Fiela was launched in the aftermath of the xenophobic attacks that rocked the country in April. It was criticized in some quarters for targeting foreigners, an allegation that was denied by police.
Zwane said those arrested were expected to appear in various courts across the province.