Police net 28 suspects, and 24 firearms in ongoing cleanup

2015-05-11 07:57

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TWENTY-EIGHT suspects were arrested in the Muden area outside Greytown on Friday for possession of illegal firearms.

Members of the National Intervention Unit were deployed in the Greytown area to conduct investigations into illegal firearms which led them to a homestead in the Muden area.

After the home was secured and searched by police, a total of 24 firearms were recovered.

Twenty of these firearms, including AK47 rifles, 303 rifles, R1 rifles and 9 mm pistols, were unlicensed.

Provincial police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said the firearms were intended to be used in faction fights and taxi-related incidents in the province.

The arrested suspects are expected to appear in the Greytown Magistrate’s Court today charged with possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

Police said the operation was conducted under the banner of Operation Fiyela and was part of a strategy to secure various communities across the province that are plagued by crime and unrest.

Earlier this month, on May 3, members of the Pietermaritzburg Public Order Police recovered a total of 15 unlicensed firearms. Of these 13 were found buried in areas near Greytown.

The two recoveries have, for the past two months, brought the total to more than 75 firearms that were found in the Greytown Cluster including Muden, Msinga and Kranskop areas.

More than 35 suspects have been arrested and appeared in various magistrates’ courts.

“In the days ahead, Operation Fiyela will be going into other areas as our intelligence dictates and we will be cleaning up identified trouble areas,” said KZN police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni.

The arrests come after five family members were attacked and shot in the Dannhauser area near Newcastle whilst on their way to Johannesburg last month. Four of them were critically injured and one died at the scene.

Also, on Saturday, May 2, another family was attacked in their Muden home.

One family member was fatally shot and two licensed firearms were taken during the attack.

Last week, MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu commended the police on the arrests and recoveries of the firearms: “Our research has shown that these illegal firearms are key drivers of heinous crimes and criminality in the province,” said Mchunu

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