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DURBAN: 25 July 2020 – Police officers from Ladysmith Tactical Response Team with Public Order Police from Pietermaritzburg and Port Shepstone conducted intelligence driven operations aimed at eradicating the proliferation of illegal firearms and curbing criminal activities at Nhlanhleni, Loskop, Ezakheni and Besters areas. The operations resulted in the arrest of five men aged between 18 and 50 and the recovery of five pistols with a total of 39 rounds of ammunition as well as a stolen vehicle. The arrested men appeared in different magistrates courts on 24 July 2020.

A 39-year-old man was arrested at Mangweni Reserve after he was found with a pistol and 12 rounds of ammunition in his possession. The suspect was taken to Nhlanhleni SAPS for detention and he appeared in the Msinga Magistrates Court for illegal possession of a firearm. Police proceeded to Besters where a 32-year-old man was found with two pistols and eleven rounds of ammunition in his possession. He was charged and he appeared in the Ladysmith Magistrates Court.

Two men aged 24 and 50 were arrested at Mhlumayo Reserve for possession of illegal a firearm and possession of a suspected stolen property. A 24-year-old man was arrested after he was found driving a vehicle on the Mhlumayo Main Road. When police searched the vehicle, they discovered that it was stolen at Malvern, Durban in April this year. A 50-year-old man was arrested for a possession of a pistol with 11 rounds of ammunition. They both appeared in the Ezakheni Magistrates Court.

In Loskop, police approached an 18-year-old man at Engonyameni Reserve and he was found with a revolver loaded with five rounds of ammunition. He was immediately arrested and was taken to Amangwe police station. He appeared in the Estcourt Magistrates Court. All the recovered firearms will be subjected to ballistic testing and the vehicle was impounded for further investigation.

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Jula commended the police officers for their determination to remove illegal firearms in the province.