Cape Town - Police have arrested three suspects for cigarette smuggling during a crime prevention operation in the Karoo town of Laingsburg.
Local police officers arrested the trio in possession of 12 000 cartons of illegal cigarettes worth R 7 562 000 at a vehicle checkpoint on Sunday evening.
Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said that the three suspects, aged between 33 and 38, were arrested at the scene and were expected to appear in court soon.
Meanwhile, in Cape Town police conducted compliance inspections at more than 600 licensed liquor outlets over the Christmas weekend.
The inspections resulted in the closure of at least 21 shebeens, charging traders and the confiscation of over 2 000 litres of alcohol in local communities such as Kraaifontein, Khayelitsha, De Doorns and Calitzdorp.
In a separate crime prevention operation, police several suspects who were found in possession of illegal firearms and live ammunition.
“During the operation, police recovered 14 illegal firearms and several rounds of ammunition in Bishop Lavis, Philippi East, Atlantis and Bellville,” said Potelwa.
In support of police crime prevention operations and initiatives, the City’s Safety and Security department has also intensified its community safety initiatives.
In a statement released by the City, the City’s enforcement officers arrested at least 100 people during the course of the previous week and issued over 51 353 fines.
Safety and Security Mayco member JP Smith said that the City’s staff had had a busy few days, catching suspects involved in criminal activity and coming to the aid of residents in need.
“It may be the season of good tidings and peace, our city has seen conflict in a number of areas, including flare-ups in gang violence with fatal consequences.
“We have had some respite on the beaches, where attendance was much lower compared to what we are accustomed to. Even our alcohol confiscation statistics were much lower as a result of the lower numbers, but also of the restricted alcohol trade.
“While one would think that the health crisis we are battling would be reason enough for residents to comply with Covid-19 regulations, experience shows this not to be the case. Our staff will continue to enforce the regulations to the best of their ability, but we appeal for common sense and co-operation from our city,” said Smith.