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S/Africa: Hundreds arrested over Easter holiday crime blitz

More than 900 suspects have been arrested during an extensive Easter holiday crime blitz across Gauteng Province in South Africa, police have said.Hundreds of law enforcement members were deployed on national routes, at tourist destinations, shopping malls and other hot spots for the duration of the Easter holidays from last Thursday to Monday.

“This massive multi-disciplinary operation led to the arrest of more than 905 suspects from Thursday (18 April) as law enforcement agencies paved the way for smooth and crime-free holidays,” Gauteng provincial police spokesperson Kay Makhubele said on Monday.   

According to Makhubele, “the operations focused mostly on the safety of travellers and prevention of importing and exporting of illicit goods.”

Gauteng Province is home to Johannesburg, the country’s commercial city, and the capital Pretoria.

He said the people were arrested for various crimes that included the possession of dangerous weapons and drugs, malicious damage to property, defeating the ends of justice, assault, intimidation, theft, driving while under the influence of alcohol, rape, fraud and kidnapping.

Following the operation, counterfeit goods worth US$1.32 million were confiscated and traffic fines totalling more than US$5,700 were issued, the spokesperson said.   

Fourteen unlicensed firearms were recovered and four vehicles were taken off the road for not being roadworthy, Makhubele said.

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