Police in Gauteng started Operation Safer Festive Season on a high note when they recorded arrests of more than one hundred and forty (140) suspects and recovered rifles, including AK-47, from the man suspected to be a kingpin of illegal mining in the West Rand.
Police received information about a suspect who is in possession of unlicensed firearms in Bekkersdal, West Rand District. The information was operationalised on the day of Operation Safer Festive Season, 21 October. Upon searching the premises, police from Crime intelligence and Bekkersdal Visible Policing found two (2) unlicensed firearms (R5 rifle and AK47 rifle) and dagga.
A 36-year-old suspect was arrested for unlawful possession of firearms and dealing in dagga.Furthermore, detectives went on a tracing of wanted suspects and arrested fifty-six (56) of them for crimes ranging from rape to fraud.
The Minister of Police General Bheki Cele, the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service General Fannie Masemola and Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela joined the police at the roadblock and illegal mining disruptive operation in Roodepoort, where more than eighty-five (85) suspects were arrested for offences that include possession of suspected stolen goods and contravening the Immigration Act.
Generators and drilling machines used by the illegal miners were seized as the police dismantled and disrupted their operation.