PARKTOWN – Police in Gauteng closed down nine illegal liquor outlets that are regarded as contributing to the commission of serious and violent crimes in the province and arrested more than 222 suspects in Soshanguve and Rietgat during a Safer Festive Season operation carried out over the weekend.
Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Ms Faith Mazibuko together with the Gauteng Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela led the multi-disciplinary forces during Safer Festive Season Operations O Kae Molao in Soshanguve where more than 222 suspects were arrested and nine illegal liquor outlets were closed down.
During the roadblocks around Soshanguve, four people were arrested driving while under the influence of liquor. Police also recovered a stolen motor vehicle. The team that included members of the South African Police Service, the Department of Home Affairs and Gauteng Liquor Board went on to raid liquor outlets. In Rietgat police closed down a popular liquor outlet and arrested the owner after it was found to be operating after the prescribed time and not adhering to the Covid-19 regulations. The place was found packed with patrons who were not observing social distancing measures and not wearing masks; and four other liquor outlets were also closed down in Rietgat.
Meanwhile, more than 1000 suspects were arrested throughout Gauteng province. In Tshwane District more than 400 suspects were arrested for serious and violent crimes and other crimes related to the gender based violence. Whereas in West Rand police secured a total of 164 arrests during intensified multi-disciplinary operations and tracing of wanted suspects.
Furthermore, in Ekurhuleni District police and other law enforcement agencies arrested more than 300 suspects. Amongst the arrested suspects were those arrested for contact crimes and possession of stolen property.
More than 350 suspects were arrested for various offences in the Sedibeng and Johannesburg Districts. These arrests were effected during operations which included stop and searches, patrols and roadblocks. Suspects were also arrested for possession of drugs, sixteen for selling liquor without licence while others were for numerous serious and violent crimes.
The arrested suspects are expected to appear in the various Magistrate Courts across the province in due course