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Cape Town – A total of 994 suspects were arrested for serious crimes during crime prevention operations that were conducted in the Eastern Cape over the past weekend.

According to a statement, throughout the Province, police members were involved in roadblocks, following up information and leads, tracing wanted suspects and conducting hotspot patrols.

"This resulted in the arrest of a total of 994 suspects for serious crimes and the recovery of 29 firearms. 27 revolvers and pistols, two rifles and 199 rounds of ammunition," Eastern Cape police spokesperson, Captain Khaya Tonjeni said.

"It is a key SAPS priority to reduce the number of illegal firearms as criminals use these illegal weapons to rob, attack and kill innocent people."

The number of confiscated firearms displayed police's resolve to ensure that illegal firearms were removed from the hands of criminals. He said that the firearms would be sent for ballistic tests to ascertain whether they have been used earlier in the commission of crime.

"As we are approaching the Easter holidays, our police members will intensify their presence and these operations and police deployments will continue throughout the Province to ensure the safety of our communities. We will remain focused on arresting those who are on the wrong side of the law," the acting Provincial Commissioner of the Eastern Cape, Major General Andre Swart said.

"The South African Police Service appeal to the community to work with the SAPS in reducing crime by providing valuable information that will lead to the arrest of suspects, the tracing of illegal firearms and the recovery of stolen property."