POLOKWANE - Well over 900 alleged criminals were arrested, a dozen illegal firearms were confiscated, and various suspected stolen goods recovered during South African Police Service (SAPS) operations in Limpopo this week, Limpopo police said on Sunday.

Limpopo police commissioner Lt-Gen Nneke Jim Ledwaba, deputy provincial commissioners, unit heads, and policing cluster commanders were out in full force taking a lead during the joint operations, Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said.

The operations were Intelligence-driven and included roadblocks, stop-and-searches, and raids on illegal liquor outlets, and finished on Sunday morning.

A total of 927 suspects, aged between 18 and 49, were arrested for various offences, including assault, theft, housebreaking, murder, illegal immigration, armed robbery, possession of drugs, and possession of illegal firearms and ammunition, Ngoepe said.

In the Maake policing area at Tzaneen, three men were arrested for the rape and robbery of a 68-year-old woman. In the Lephalale policing cluster, a 20-year-old suspect was arrested for possession of 68 sachets of nyaope and a dagga, while in the Bela Bela cluster, five suspects, aged between 26 and 31, were arrested for possession of suspected stolen property, murder, and business robbery.

In the Burgersfort policing cluster, two suspects, aged 31 and 36, were arrested for a series of businesses burglaries and a large amount of suspected stolen property was recovered.

Items recovered during the operations included 12 illegal firearms, ammunition and magazines, nyaope and dagga, seven suspected stolen motor vehicles, 20 cellphones, two plasma TVs, a tractor, laptops, car radios, rolls of copper wire, computers and household appliances, garden equipment, cash, airtime vouchers, and cigarettes, Ngoepe said.

Altogether 4099 people and 1484 vehicles were searched, 126 cars were tested, 38 petrol stations were visited, 46 banks were visited, 47 houses were searched, two compounds were visited, and 36 shebeens were raided.

Eleven shopping malls and 20 minibus taxi ranks were visited, as well as national key points, ATMs, and businesses. The arrested suspects would appear in various magistrate's courts across the province soon, Ngoepe said.

African News Agency/ANA