File picture: Independent Media
Johannesburg – Police have seized illicit cigarettes and fake branded clothing, stolen vehicles, undeclared foreign currency, drugs, stolen and unlicensed firearms worth more than R18 million at the country's borders.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) said on Wednesday that more than 100 suspects were arrested in connection with the offences.

SAPS said the busts and arrests in the past week were intelligence driven-operation and were part of its "Back to Basics" approach to prevent and combat crime and corruption at our borders.

"The multi-departmental operations which included the South African Revenue Services and the Department of Home Affairs were conducted at our land, sea and air ports," said Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.

"There were significant successes resulting from these operations in that 101 suspects were arrested as well and a variety of items were recovered."

The seized items include illicit drugs, counterfeit goods, 19 illegal firearms and approximately 362 rounds of ammunition, hijacked vehicles, as well as undeclared foreign currency.

"We will endeavour to establish if the firearms were used in the commission of other crimes," said Naidoo.

The brigadier said there were 69 cases under investigation emanating from the arrests and seizures.

These cases include rape, possession of unlicensed firearms, possession of and dealing in drugs, trading in counterfeit goods, possession of stolen property and possession of undeclared foreign currency.

The value of the goods seized was estimated at more than R18.5 million.

"Such operations are not the first and they certainly will not be the last. The resultant arrests and seizures should serve as a warning to potential criminals that we could pounce on them at anytime, day or night," said Naidoo.