Many people, breaking the law, found themselves behind bars following an Inter-Provincial Cross- Border crime combating operation which was held from 23 to 26 May 2022 between the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape.
Yet again exceptional results were achieved, resulting in many offenders being incarcerated and most already appeared in the local town’s courts to account for their involvement in criminal activities. This integrated approach included all SAPS-Units, Provincial and local Municipal Traffic departments, SARS, SANPARKS, Home Affairs (Customs and Immigration Officers) and other departments within the Safety and Security cluster.
All efforts were coordinated from a Joint Operational Centre that was based in Beaufort-West for the duration of the operation
These crime combating operations are conducted on a regular basis throughout the year, to successfully monitor and police the main entrance and exit routes between provinces in an attempt to eradicate the flow of illegal goods and drugs into these provinces. SAPS furthermore aims to ensure and enhance the safety of rural and urban communities by means of high density patrols and visibility through roadblocks and VCP’s (Vehicle Check points).
An integrated, holistic approach ensured that these actions directly attributed the clamping down on the illegal trading and trafficking of stolen goods, firearms, counterfeit goods, drugs, non-ferrous metals, livestock, marine, fauna and flora resources and endangered species (rhino poaching / abalone etc.). A significant decline in reported crime, especially in the targeted areas of deployment, compared to previous operations was observed.
Successes achieved include the arrest of 170 suspects for various serious criminal offences. This included 50 for wanted suspects as well as 17 for drug related offences, Illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, as well as a total of undocumented persons. In total, integrated forces on the ground who were strategically deployed, performed 6340 searches of which 3596 were on persons, 2498 vehicles and 61 on premises which are identified hotspots.
These integrated forces confiscated more than 4 kg dagga, 79.17g Crystal Myth (Tik) to an estimated value of R19 792-50, 141 926 Mandrax tablets with an estimated value of R8.5 million, 28 800 grams of Khat to the estimated value of about R60 000-00 as well as 4 laptops for whom a suspect was arrested for. Fines (117) to an estimated value of approximately R232 000-00 were issued for traffic violations and other minor offences.
On 24 May 2022, vigilant K-9 Central Karoo-members deployed at a roadblock on the N-1 near Beaufort West pulled over a passenger bus en-route to Malawi and with the search that ensued, discovered electronic equipment, including two Apple MacBook Pro-laptops, a HP and an Asus laptops, cellphones and other electronic equipment in the possession of one of the passengers. This find resulted in the arrest of a 24-year-old suspect on a charge of Possession of suspected stolen goods as he could not provide a satisfactory explanation as to the possession thereof. Later members also confiscated 28.8kg of Khat with an estimated value of about R60 000-00. No one could be linked to the find. Investigation continues.
In the early hours of Wednesday, 25 May 2022, members who had been placed strategically along the N-9 between Uniondale and Willowmore pulled over a delivery truck en-route to the Cape Metropole. During a routine search, members discovered a hidden compartment in the roof of the truck and upon checking, found 141 400 Mandrax tablets concealed in plastic bags, estimated at a value of about R 8.48 million inside the hidden panel. Subsequently members arrested a 24-year old suspect who had been charged for Dealing in illicit Drugs (Mandrax). The suspect is still in custody pending a formal bail application.
Besides above successes, a significant decline in most categories of crime was achieved for the duration of the cross border operation. The absence of serious crime in the clusters on the boundaries of the three provinces can be attributed to the high density patrols and visible policing on these Provincial borders.
All three (3) Provincial Commissioners are in agreement that the mission of these integrated operations remains to effectively address and prevent priority crimes in order to ensure the safety of both our rural and urban communities by means of High Visibility patrols and strategic deployments, especially on our main and secondary roads which includes our entrances and exit routes between provinces.
Provincial managements of all three provinces lauded the command structure, members and participating counterparts for their commitment and diligence during this operation which has been pronounced as a sounding victory over crime in general. These operations will continue throughout the remainder of this financial year, unannounced, they said.