Gang nabbed with pistols and AK-47 rifles among many busted during operations

Firearms recovered by police during an operation.

Raids were conducted in Evaton and Orange Farm taxi ranks, shopping malls, scrapyards and liquor outlets.

In a clampdown on crime on Thursday during operation O Kae Molao, police busted a gang with pistols and an AK47 among the over 600 suspects arrested during the operation, throughout the Gauteng province.

The operation led by Lieutenant General Elias Mawela saw various law enforcement agencies clamping down on more than six hundred and seventy suspects for crimes ranging from rape, armed robbery, murder, attempted murder, business robber, assault, theft, possession of drugs and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

In a statement, police said: “At one roadblock in Soweto, police found three pistols, an AK-47 rifle and ammunition of different calibre after stopping and searching a KwaZulu-Natal registered vehicle with five men.”

In a separate incident, police arrested a suspect linked to a business robbery after they found a pistol on him with a loaded magazine.

“Investigations are underway to establish if these suspects and the firearms could be linked to previous serious and violent crimes.

“At the same time, members of the Vehicle Crime Investigating Unit and supporting teams pounced on a vehicle panel beating outlet in Mofolo North, where police found five vehicles that have been either reported stolen or their parts tampered with. The owner of this panel beater evaded arrest but police are hot on his trail.

“In keeping with the momentum of tracing wanted suspects, the detective’s team arrested 140 suspects in the Johannesburg District. Among those arrested are suspects wanted for gender-based violence and crimes committed against children.”

More than 230 suspects were arrested in Tshwane most of whom were wanted suspects successfully traced by the detectives.

“The operations, which focused on Atteridgeville and Erasmia, saw other suspects being arrested for possession of dagga, possession of suspected stolen property and contravention of the Disaster Management Act.

“Police seized at one of the roadblocks, a Toyota Etios which was later confirmed as stolen as per a case reported at Sunnyside in 2018, and two vehicles – Volkswagen Polo and Citi Golf, whose engines had been tampered with. Traffic fines to the value of R21,500 were issued at the roadblock.”

In Ekurhuleni, 180 suspects were arrested for various crimes.

“The operations were intensified in Daveyton, Etwata and Tembisa and police recovered a stolen Toyota Quantum, and impounded a sedan that was found with a tampered engine. Other suspects were arrested for dealing in dagga, possession of drugs, illegal possession of police uniform and contravention Disaster Management Act.

“Three other suspects were arrested in Alberton after they were found with vehicle breaking implements. Traffic fines to the value of R10,900 were issued and fines of R6,000 were issued to Second-Hand dealerships for non-compliance.”

In Sedibeng, seventy people were arrested during operations on Thursday. Raids were conducted in Evaton and Orange Farm taxi ranks, shopping malls, scrapyards and liquor outlets.

In the West Rand, more than 190 suspects, including some wanted suspects, were traced for crimes relating to domestic and gender-based violence including murder and rape, while others were arrested for house and business robberies.

Police during the operations also confiscated illicit cigarettes and expired products.

All arrested suspects will appear before different courts.

Mawela lauded all officers for their hard work, saying: “I want to commend everyone for your selfless commitment and efforts during these challenging times as we face the pandemic.”

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