Mpumalanga cops outsmart criminals

CRACKDOWN: Police at the roadblock on the N4 highway in Malelane near the Mozambique border search taxi passengers.  15/01/2009. Pic. Riot Hlatshwayo.  © Sowetan.
CRACKDOWN: Police at the roadblock on the N4 highway in Malelane near the Mozambique border search taxi passengers. 15/01/2009. Pic. Riot Hlatshwayo. © Sowetan.

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Mpumalanga police believe they have broken the back of crime syndicates operating between South Africa and Mozambique.

So far the provincial police have arrested about 15000 people for crimes, including cross-border vehicle theft and weapons and drugs smuggling.

The police sprang into action on October 1 last year, setting up a 24-hour roadblock near Malelane Plaza on the N4 highway to Mozambique.

They recovered an average of 10 stolen vehicles a week.

The vehicles were destined for countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Zambia.

"We were ready for the criminals, especially since the Mozambique border is a gateway for international criminals," said police spokesman Abie Khoabane yesterday.

Acting provincial police commissioner Rex Machabi said a host of crackdowns had resulted in 14799 arrests for crimes ranging from murder to burglaries.

He said 2936 illegal immigrants were arrested, 4991 weapons were confiscated and dagga with a street value of R1,2million was seized. Overall, fines amounting to R4 856 524 were issued during the period.

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