Over 1 000 people nabbed during Operation Shanela in Free State

Over 1 000 people were arrested in one week for various crimes in the Free State as part of Operation Shanela.

Operation Shanela consists of regular stop and searches, roadblocks and vehicle checkpoints; high visibility patrols, including foot patrols; the tracing of wanted suspects, with a focus on murder and rape suspects, and compliance inspections at liquor outlets and second-hand good dealers.

“The period starting 25 – 31 December 2023 saw police arrest 1 073 suspects for different crimes throughout the province. This includes detection and tracking operations,” said the 

“Operation Shanela is the SAPS [South African Police Service] crime-combating high density operation incepted in May 2023.

Dangerous weapons confiscated

“During patrols [in the] last week of the festive season, seven unlicensed illegal liquor premises were closed. Ninety-seven illegal firework traders were closed and their stock was confiscated.

“Through stop and searches, 33 knives were confiscated, while 32 people were arrested for possession of dangerous weapons.  Dangerous weapons such as knives and pangas were confiscated,” SAPS said on Tuesday.

Fifty-three motorists were arrested for driving while under the influence of liquor at roadblocks.

The fight against drugs also produced positive results, as 105 suspects were arrested for drug related crimes, which included the possession of drugs such as mandrax, cocaine, crystal meth and methcathinone (CAT).

Zama-zamas arrested

Progress was also made in the fight against illegal mining.

“The Illicit Mining Task Team is hard on duty in the area of Lejweleputswa and 26 suspects were arrested for illicit mining after others were found in possession of gold dust and illegal mining equipment.  With that operation, 46 suspects were also brought to book after they were found to be contravening the Immigration Act.

“A multidisciplinary roadblock also ensured that 32 people [were] issued or received fines, as per traffic related services offences. This also saw police confiscate three unlicensed firearms and ammunition, and three people were arrested as a result thereof.  Robberies, murder and attempted murder saw 15 suspects being arrested,” SAPS said.

The public is urged to report any suspicious and criminal activities to Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or use the MySAPS app. – SAnews.gov.za

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