By Thupeyo Muleya
A total of 67 illegal immigrants, among them Zimbabweans were among the over 1 000 suspects nabbed during a South African police operation targeting criminal elements in Limpopo province over the weekend.
The joint operation dubbed “Operation Fiela II” saw the arrest of 1 098 suspects in all the province’s crime hotspots.
Limpopo police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said the illegal immigrants were arrested at Beitbridge Border Post.
He said the operation was conducted between Friday and yesterday morning and that he was yet to get the breakdown of the nationalities of the border jumpers.
“These operations composed of various police units conducted in a concerted effort to uproot and deal with the common perpetrators of crime and crime tendencies in all the policing clusters and will continue to raise dust along the streets, roads, residential places, farms and businesses until crime is normalised,” he said.
“The police were targeting a cross section of crimes including theft, illegal migration, shebeen, possession of illegal firearms, rape, murder, burglary business, common robberies to possession of suspected stolen property and drugs among others.”
Lt-Col Ngoepe said they recovered an assortment of items including firearms, dagga, drugs and cash from the suspects.
He said 188 suspects were rounded up in Tzaneen Cluster, 23 in Mahwelereng Cluster, 43 in Lephalele Cluster, 232 in Thohoyandou, 30 around Polokwane, four in Burgersfort and 458 in Makhado and Giyani policing areas.
“The simultaneous operations Uya Pamwe were also running in all the clusters and the additional 53 suspects aged between 24 and 46 were arrested for possession of drugs, Immigration Act, possession of suspected stolen properties and a number of items were confiscated including the Eskom cables, liquor, dagga, cast iron pots and fruits.
“Those arrested during these operations have started appearing before different magistrate courts throughout the province,” said Lt- Col Ngoepe. The Herald