KING WILLIAM’S TOWN – The SAPS efforts to eradicate the proliferation of illegal weapons were handsomely rewarded when five men were arrested and eight illegal firearms (shotguns and pistols) were seized during operations at OR Tambo district. The operations began on 21 November.
The Tactical Response Team deployed at Bityi conducted a search and seizure operation from 21-22 November 2020 at Krakra/Gwatyu locations. During the operation, police followed up information on firearms and ammunition which might have been used in the recent spate of killings in the areas.
The action resulted in the arrest of three suspects aged between 29 and 42 years at Tikitiki Location, Tsolo who were charged for possession of unlicensed firearms.
The possibility of additional charges to the suspects cannot be ruled out as there was a bush buck animal that was also found in the vehicle used by the suspects. They are all expected to appear at the Mthatha Magistrate’s Court today 24 November 2020.
In another operation, the Tactical Response Team at Bityi were busy with observation in the area of upper Xhongora on 23 November 2020 between 06:00 till 18:00 when they noticed three males who were walking in the open field. When the three males noticed the police vehicle they started running and police gave chase. They then dropped something on the ground and upon investigating it was found that is a 9mm pistol with 1 magazine and eight (8) cartridges.
Upon circulation of the firearm, the firearm was reported as stolen in Cape Town.
Lastly, Crime Intelligence members and Tactical Response Team attached at Bityi conducted way lay operation near Elangeni Forest, Mthatha after receiving information about illegal firearms possibly used for illegal hunting on 23 November 2020 between 06:00 till 18:00.
A 35-year-old suspect was arrested for possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition at Mqanduli. A 7.65 Pistol with 6 cartridges was recovered during arrest.
At Mqanduli, A 73-year-old male was charged for possession of prohibited firearm and ammunition, namely a Norinco 9mm pistol with 8 cartridges.
All suspects are expected to appear at Mqanduli magistrate’s court today, 24 November 2020.
All the eight (8) recovered firearms will be taken to a ballistic test to ascertain its earlier use in committing crime.
Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga commended the members for the recovery of illegal weapons and arrests. “Each firearm confiscated is a step closer to accomplishing the dream of a safer and crime free province”, she said.