KwaZulu-Natal police have arrested four men and recovered several high-calibre firearms from Msinga in Greytown.

Spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said on Monday that a joint operation between members of the Newcastle Public Order Police (POP) and Newcastle Crime Intelligence unit resulted in the bust.

He said police pounced on various homesteads in the Ludindi and Gubokazi wards on Friday evening.

“Two AK-47 assault rifles with fourteen live rounds of ammunition, a .22 rifle with three live rounds of ammunition, a .308 rifle, a .303 rifle, four pistols, three .38 revolvers and four hundred and thirty eight rounds of ammunition for an R1 rifle were recovered,” he said.

Four people were arrested during the raid. Naicker said the suspects, aged between 32 and 46, would appear in the Pomeroy Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Meanwhile, Naicker said, the police's effort to rid the province of unregistered firearms that are often used in criminal activities, resulted in 27 firearms being confiscated since January and 12 suspects taken into police custody.

“The Newcastle POP members arrested four suspects in late January 2012 and recovered an AK-47 rifle, two R5 rifles, a pistol and a number of live rounds of ammunition during operations in the Pomeroy and Ezakheni districts.”

In late February, members of the Pietermaritzburg POP, K9 Unit and the Hilton Flying Squad recovered 11 firearms and a large number of live rounds of ammunition. Four people from the Nsuze area on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, were arrested in that sting.

KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni said: “Despite the extended period of firearms amnesty granted for illegal firearms to be handed in for destruction a few years back, illegal firearms are still surfacing in different areas. Therefore, I have called for intensified intelligence supported operations throughout the province to locate and remove these illegal firearms and arrests the suspects.” - IOL