Suspects dealing in illegal firearms arrested

Pretoria - Two suspects were arrested in the early hours of yesterday morning during an intelligence-driven operation comprising of various disciplines of the SAPS, both from police Head Office as well as Limpopo Province.

The team followed up on intelligence that two suspects, aged 17 and 35 years, were smuggling arms into South Africa through the border near the Komatipoort area of Mpumalanga. When the suspects were confronted, it emerged that they were intending to sell the firearms to a prospective buyer.

A total of seven (7) AK47 rifles, 180 rounds of ammunition and a Toyota Hilux double cab bakkie were recovered. During the arrest and recovery, one AK47 rifle was recovered fastened against the exhaust system underneath the vehicle. The two suspects will appear on charges of smuggling and dealing in illegal firearms in the Komatipoort Magistrate's court tomorrow. All the rifles will be sent for ballistic testing to the SAPS Forensic Science laboratory.

This type and calibre of weapon are among those that are generally used to commit aggravated robberies such as cash-in-transit heists, vehicle hijackings and house and business robberies. This a significant breakthrough in our efforts to nip these categories of robberies in the bud.

The National Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khehla Sitole, has welcomed these arrests and recoveries, praising the intelligence team for their excellent work. Combating the proliferation of arms and ammunition forms part of our six-pillar priorities during the festive season, said General Sitole. "Removing such firearms from our streets will certainly help to reduce the risk of these robberies being committed, added General Sitole.

We urge the people of South Africa to continue supporting the police in its efforts to bring down the scourge of crime because together we can do more.

Source: South African Police Service