The SAPS arrested nine undocumented persons and confiscated packs of sorghum beer which had been smuggled into South Africa in a bus. Picture: SAPS
The SAPS arrested nine undocumented persons and confiscated packs of sorghum beer which had been smuggled into South Africa in a bus. Picture: SAPS

Limpopo cops intercept bus with undocumented people, illicit booze

By Mashudu Sadike Time of article published Jul 21, 2021

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Pretoria - Police in Limpopo arrested more than 900 suspects across all the provincial districts in a crime blitz conducted last week.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, the operation saw the arrest of nine undocumented foreign nationals in Polokwane travelling in a bus carrying illicit alcohol worth more than R175 000.

It is believed the suspects were coming from the Beitbridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe, and were headed for Johannesburg.

They were arrested on the spot and charged with the contravention of the Immigration Act and regulations under the Disaster Management Act.

Speaking to Pretoria News yesterday, Mojapelo said: “Members attached to Polokwane International Airport were on routine duties along the N1 road next to the SA Breweries, when they arrested nine undocumented foreign nationals travelling in a bus and confiscated packs of sorghum beer packed in the trailer.

“Preliminary police investigations revealed that the liquor, as well as the undocumented foreign nationals, were being transported to Johannesburg,” he said.

All nine suspects were expected to appear in the Polokwane magistrate’s court yesterday but had not yet appeared by the afternoon.

During the week-long crackdown, other suspects were arrested for various crimes ranging from murder; rape; robberies; assaults; smuggling of illicit goods; contravention of the Immigration Act – to contravention of regulations under the Disaster Management Act.

Over 800 were arrested for contravening the regulations under the Disaster Management Act during lockdown Level 4.

Four suspects between the ages of 26 and 37 were arrested in the Sekhukhune for possession of suspected stolen motor vehicles during a sting operation conducted by Groblersdal Detectives, Crime Intelligence, Limpopo Highway Patrol, Dennilton K9 and Groblersdal VIS.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects were allegedly running a syndicate of fraudulently buying the vehicles from the car dealership and then selling them. Three salary advices reportedly utilised to fraudulently purchase the vehicles from different car dealerships were also confiscated,” Mojapelo said.

In Seshego near Polokwane, a 42-year old man, who is also a traditional healer, was arrested by the Seshego Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual offences Unit for a rape that allegedly took place last year in the township.

“The father of the 17-year-old victim had left his daughter with the suspect for traditional rituals, but instead, he allegedly raped her and fled the scene.”

According to Mojapelo, members of the Provincial Tracking team arrested another four foreign nationals between the ages of 26 and 42 yesterday morning in Tzaneen outside Polokwane and confiscated 72 boxes of illicit cigarettes valued at R252 000, with three of their bakkies also confiscated.

Mojapelo added: “Some of the suspects have already started appearing in different courts across the province, while others will appear during the course of this week. The operations continue.”

Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has commended the members of the police involved in the operations.

“Well done for the hard work to our law enforcement, and I urge them to be more determined and unrelenting in their quest of making Limpopo Province a safe and secure place,” Hadebe said.

Pretoria News

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