Kimberley - The South African Police Service's (SAPS) multi-disciplinary "take down" operation dubbed operation “Phinda Mzala” in the Northern Cape this week has yielded good results, with the arrest of various suspects and the seizure of stolen vehicles and illegal firearms, the SAPS in the Northern Cape said on Saturday.
Operation Phinda Mzala, an Intelligence-led operation, was simultaneously carried out in the John Taolo Gaetsewe and Frances Baard policing clusters, Captain Olebogeng Tawana said.
In the early hours of Friday morning, the Northern Cape SAPS team comprised of the tactical response team (TRT), public order police (POP), detectives, the flying squad, highway patrol, vehicle crime investigation unit (VCIU), and corporate communications "infiltrated houses of the underworld operatives" in Kathu, Dingleton, Delportshoop, and Roodepan, Tawana said.
During the operation, search and seizure warrants were issued for all identified premises in both clusters.
"In Rooibok Street, Kathu, a 47-year-old man was caught with his pants down when we searched and confiscated three reported stolen vehicles. A VW Amarok bakkie, VW Polo TSI, and BMW M3. Vehicle crime investigation unit members established that identification marks on all three vehicles were tampered with. Investigations revealed that both the VW Amarok bakkie and VW Polo TSI were reported stolen in Gauteng and Mpumalanga."
The suspect was also found in possession of a .303 hunting rifle with a filled-off serial number and .303 ammunition and 9mm cartridges.
A Kia K2700 bakkie was also confiscated at a premises at Dingleton after it was observed that it had a false license disc.
A search and seizure operation was conducted at a premises in Delportshoop, where a 43-year-old suspect was arrested. He would face charges including illegal possession of ammunition and contravention of the Firearms Control Act. The suspect was also charged in terms of the Northern Cape Nature Conservation Act after he was found in possession of a "blue ape and a red tail boa snake".
In Roodepan, search and seizure warrants were issued for two premises, where 13 people were searched, as well as vehicles. A search and seizure operation was also conducted at a livestock post in Roodepan. During the investigation of the livestock post, it was established that the owner contravened the Animal Identification Act.by failing to brand mark and to tattoo livestock according to the prescripts. He was issued with a fine.
The arrested suspects were expected to appear in the Kathu, Barkly West, and Kimberley magistrates' courts on Monday respectively, Tawana said.
John Taolo Gaetsewe policing cluster commander Maj-Gen Johan Bean, who was the overall commander of the operation, applauded the Northern Cape SAPS team for the operation. “Members displayed a high level of discipline and professionalism. I want to appreciate members for dedicating their lives to unearth underworld operatives in our society,” he said.
African News Agency (ANA)