Pakistani arrested for illegal gun

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

A Pakistani businessman was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm that a South African man had lent him to protect his business.

The South African man was also arrested for negligent handling of the firearm after police found it in the possession of his tenant - the Pakistani man who operates a business from his yard.

The arrests happened on Monday in Schoemansdal Trust near Komatipoort, Mpumalanga, during a police operation aimed at arresting criminals who target foreign citizens with businesses in South Africa. The two are expected to appear in the local magistrate's court today.

Schoemansdal police spokesman Nompilo Qwabe said the police had carried out the operation following the increase in robberies and burglaries on businesses owned by foreigners.

She said the police had established that most of these victims never make it to court to testify because "their papers to be in the country might not be authentic".

She said police also discovered that most foreign business owners do not take their money to the bank but keep it in their houses, a fact that makes them vulnerable to criminals.

Schoemansdal police station commissioner Dorah Gladys Xaba contacted the provincial department of home affairs and the South African Revenue Services (Sars) to join the police in the operation.

The operation also resulted in the arrest of five Malawians for being in South Africa illegally.

Fake cigarettes as well as creams were also confiscated.

Qwabe said the arrested Malawians will be deported to their country of origin while the confiscated cigarettes and creams will be disposed of by Sars.