An inter-provincial cross-border operation conducted between the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Free State from 26 June 2023 to 30 June 2023, yielded positive results with the successful execution of crime combatting operations between and across the four provinces. These actions comprised of crime intelligence driven operations, high density patrols in crime hotspots, roadblocks on main and secondary exit and entrance routes and operations aimed against the illegal trafficking of illicit goods, drugs, contraband and stolen property. These actions were executed simultaneously in all four provinces. Operations were spearheaded by commanders of the neighbouring provinces and districts, coordinated from a Joint Operational Centre situated in George.

Amongst the successes achieved across the four provinces, are the following;

•463 suspects were arrested for an array of crimes including stock theft, robbery, assault, property related crimes, malicious damage to property, possession of suspected stolen property, theft and drug related crime.

•142 undocumented persons were arrested for contravening the Immigration Act. These suspects were handed over to be processed by officials from the Department of Home Affairs.

•Drugs valued over R670,000 were confiscated across the four provinces.

•Cash to the amount of R5 623-00, believed to be the proceeds of crime, was seized.

•Five firearms and 111 rounds of ammunition were seized.

•Merchandise worth R13 million comprising of illicit cigarettes and scheduled medication were seized at a Port of Entry in Gelvandale, Gqeberha during an joint intelligence operation between SAPS and SARS Custom officials,

•5975 vehicles and 10 173 persons were stopped and searched as well as 2 828 occupant’s luggage were checked and scanned

•479.42 litres of alcohol were seized during compliance and inspections at liquor outlets and shebeens.

•Fines to the amount of R175 000 were issued during compliance inspections at different establishments, liquor outlets, second hand goods shops and scrapyards.

Some of the highlight of the week-long operation included the following

1. Police in Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape intercepted a truck and a motor vehicle and discovered copper cables valued at more than R4 million. The seven occupants were apprehended and arrested for damage to essential infrastructure and theft. In Kabega Park in the Eastern Cape police confiscated illegal stock from a foreign national valued to more than R1 million.

2. Police in the Free State operationalised information of wanted suspects sought in a Bergville armed robbery case when they arrested a 52-year-old male and his 36-year-old wife in Harrismith for attempted murder, business robbery, possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. They arrested two more suspects in Escourt, KwaZulu-Natal for the same criminal offence committed in Bergville, bringing the arrests to four.

3. Between Free State and North West Provinces members attached to the Stock Theft Unit arrested six suspects and recovered 21 sheep to the value of R230 000.00. The police found 26 sheep amongst the local surrounding communities. The stolen sheep was handed back to the lawful owner whilst the criminal investigation continues.

All four provincial commissioners were in agreement that the operations should continue unabated to ensure the safety and well-being of all inhabitants of the country so that they can be free of threats of attack. They were also pleased with the results achieved which demonstrates the commitment of all members involved. They specially thanked the contribution and support from other stakeholders and counterparts as the operation is an integrated one which includes all state departments and force multipliers.