Police operation nets 74 suspects in Gqeberha


A three-day operation in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro has seen police exert their authority in an effort to ensure the safety of all citizens.

The operation, which started on Thursday and concluded during the early hours of Sunday, saw police pounce on wanted suspects, drug peddlers and Disaster Management Act infringers.

In a statement, provincial spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu, said 74 suspects were arrested over the three days.

“On Friday, 1 October, detectives conducted operations from 6pm until 6am the following morning, hunting down wanted suspects. In the 12-hour operation, 48 suspects were arrested for crimes ranging from murder, house/business robbery, carjacking, housebreaking, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm etc.”

Operations continued on Saturday until yesterday morning, where visible policing members conducted blue light patrols and concentrated on vehicle hijackings, compliance of DMA regulations, illegal firearms and drugs in hotspot areas.

During this operation, 26 suspects were arrested, during which three hijacked vehicles, a large quantity of drugs (mandrax), a replica firearm, a stolen iPhone and a shotgun with rounds were recovered.

Fines were also issued to illegal liquor outlets in Motherwell for trading without a licence. Fines totalling R60 000 were issued for various violations by the metro police.

On 1 October 2021, at about 8:15pm, while SAPS Bethelsdorp Crime Prevention members were conducting blue light patrols with the Anti-Gang Unit members in Gelvandale, they noticed a male running and members chased after him. As he ran, he threw a firearm in a yard in Borchard Street.  A shotgun with two rounds of ammunition was recovered. The suspect managed to evade arrest.

In another incident on Saturday, SAPS Bethelsdorp CPU members, while patrolling on Adriaans Street in Bloemendal, they noticed a white Mazda 323 Sting driving with its lights off. Members followed the vehicle and when the driver noticed them, he sped off.

Naidu said the vehicle was pulled over in Barberry Drive, Extension 31.

“The vehicle was searched and a bag containing 990 mandrax tablets with a few halved tablets was found in his possession.  The 37-year-old suspect was arrested for possession of drugs. His car was also confiscated. The estimated street value of the drugs is R44 745,” she said.

Later that evening, SAPS KwaZakhele Vispol Task Team members recovered a Datsun Go vehicle, which was allegedly hijacked earlier. The vehicle was found abandoned in Tambo Street with its battery, key and wheel jack missing.

All the arrested suspects will today appear in their respective court jurisdictions.

Acting Nelson Mandela Bay District Commissioner, Brigadier Luntu Ngubelanga, hailed the three-day operation as a success and applauded the commitment and dedication of all the police units. The operation included SAPS Vispol and detectives from all stations in the metro, specialised units (K9 and Flying Squad), Public Order Policing, Anti-Gang Unit and metro police officials.

“As the Country in Blue operational concept was launched countrywide last week, aimed at intensifying police visibility across our policing precincts, these operations in the metro will be ongoing.

“We will be squeezing the space for criminals everywhere until they have no place to hide. Police visibility will be heightened with all operational SAPS vehicles on the road switching on their emergency warning blue lights from sunset to sunrise (18:00 to 06:00).

“We call on the communities to play an active role in preventing and combatting crime by exposing criminals within their communities,” he said.