SAPS find illegal arms near Lebombo border

Lebombo border from Komtaipoort to Mozambique.

Dex Sibiya

Police arrested two suspects this week for the illegal possession of heavy firearms and ammunition during an intelligence-driven operation of the SAPS, with members from police Head Office as well as Limpopo Province.

The team followed-up on information of two suspects, aged 17 and 35 years who were smuggling guns into South Africa via the border near Komatipoort in Mpumalanga. After the arrest, it emerged that they intended to sell the firearms to a prospective buyer.A total of seven AK47 rifles, 180 rounds of ammunition and a stolen Toyota Hilux double cab bakkie were recovered during the operation.One AK47 rifle had been tied against the exhaust system underneath the vehicle.

The two suspects appeared before the Komatipoort Magistrate’s court on charges of smuggling and dealing in illegal firearms, by the time of going to print the outcome of their appearance could not confirmed.

All rifles have gone for ballistic testing at the South African Police Services (SAPS) Forensic Science laboratory. These calibre of weapons are among those generally used to commit serious crimes  such as cash-in-transit heists, vehicle hijackings and house and business robberies.

The successful recovery and arrest, is seen as a significant breakthrough by the SAPS. National Commissioner, Lt Gen Khehla Sitole has welcomed these arrests and recoveries, praising the intelligence team for their excellent work. “Combating the proliferation of arms and ammunition forms part of our six-pillar priorities during the festive season,” said Sitole.

“Removing such firearms from our streets will certainly help to reduce the risk of these robberies being committed. We furthermore urged the people of South Africa to continue supporting the police in its efforts to bring down the scourge of crime saying, because together we can do more.”