Police and immigration official have foiled an attempt by ten Argentinian football hooligans, called “Barrabravas” to enter the country. The police say two are known Barrabravas leaders and a third is on bail and facing a murder charge.
The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) says the group were intercepted at OR Tambo Airport on Sunday afternoon after arriving on a flight from Luanda in Angola and prohibited from entering the country.
“This interception was a groundbreaking move on the part of the South African Police Service and the Department of Home Affairs, assisted by the International Police Cooperation Centre set up specifically for the World Cup and at which Argentinian Police officers are deployed,” NATJOINTS spokeswoman Brigadier Sally de Beer says. “This move sends out a strong signal that the police’s Crime Intelligence Division is closely monitoring the movement of known football hooligans and that government will not tolerate their presence – accompanied by their loutish and violent behaviour – in our country.”
De Beer adds intelligence indicated that the group planned to commit acts of public disorder, including acts of violence and the provocation of conflict with fans of certain opposing teams and even other Argentinian fans during the soccer spectacular that starts on Friday. “They are known to have a history of being involved in crime and antagonising local law enforcement agencies,” she says.
The ten were taken into custody and will be repatriated to Argentina today.
Pic: SAPS members