Gauteng police arrest 1 600 over the weekend

Johannesburg - Gauteng police arrested more than 1 600 suspects during intelligence driven operations this past weekend, provincial spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said on Sunday.

The suspects were arrested for crimes ranging from armed robbery, murder, possession of drugs, rape, assault, theft, possession of unlicensed firearms and business robbery.

Masondo told News24 that the figure is in the usual range for weekend arrests across the province, with the figures ranging between 1 200 and sometimes over 2 000 on a given weekend.

Among them, two foreign nationals were arrested over the weekend for an alleged "419 scam".

Two Nigerian nationals aged 40 and 45 were arrested after police received information that an unnamed Eastern Cape woman was promised an inheritance that was allegedly due to her.

"It is alleged that the victim was ordered to pay a certain percentage of money upfront before the whole amount can be released to her," Masondo said.

"The police intervened and arrested the suspects in Sandton, Johannesburg."

A 419 scam is an advance-fee fraud, where the victim is convinced to advance money to a stranger.

Masondo appealed to citizens to not fall for similar scams. Police requested similar incidents be reported immediately to the nearest police station.

In other operations, Gauteng police recovered more than 10 firearms, and stolen vehicles.

"In one incident, police picked up a signal of a hijacked Mercedes Benz in Benoni. The signal led to a private house where police recovered two vehicles that were allegedly hijacked and four unlicensed firearms which are two rifles and two pistols."

The weapons were believed to be used in serious and violent crimes.

Arrested individuals will appear in various magistrate's courts in the province on Monday.

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