Operation Shanela leads to 638 arrests in FS


The week of 4 to 11 February has seen 638 people arrested by the South African Police Service (SAPS) during the continued success of Operation Shanela, this according to a statement by the Office of the Provincial Commissioner of the Free State.

“High-density operations were conducted in all five districts in the province,” read the statement, “focusing on enhancing crime prevention in a quest to ensure the safety of all South Africans and the Free State in particular.”

Collaborative interdepartmental operations were conducted involving SAPS units and external stakeholders such as SARS, the Department of Labour, Destea, and the Traffic Department.

Through the operation 638 suspects, including 211 individuals identified and apprehended in wanted cases by detectives, were successfully arrested.

Operation Shanela specialises in addressing firearms-related offenses, homicides, sexual assaults, trio crimes, and aggravated robberies.

To address crime hotspots, roadblocks and vehicle checkpoints were strategically implemented, contributing to the overall success of the operation.

A total of 427 suspects will appear in different courts in the province on charges ranging from armed robbery, business robbery, murder, attempted murder, rape, attempted rape, assault GBH, burglary and drug-related crimes, amongst others. These include 66 undocumented suspects.

The statement further read: “Police managed to confiscate and recover alcoholic beverages, different types of ammunition, computers, drugs, copper, counterfeit goods, and dangerous weapons, including firearms, amongst others.”

Recovered firearms will now be subjected to ballistic testing to establish any linkages to the commission of other crimes in South Africa.

“One notable success was when a 51-year-old man was arrested with illicit cigarettes and counterfeit goods with an estimated value of R1.35 million,” read the SAPS statement.

“In Welkom, the Anti-Gang Unit also confiscated illicit cigarettes and counterfeit goods worth about R100 000,” it concluded.

Compiled by Warren Hawkins