Police return to the Johannesburg CBD to restore law and order

The South African Police Service led a joint operation to restore law and order in Johannesburg earlier this week after running battles with illegal traders.

The operation focused on counterfeit goods and related criminal activities in the Johannesburg Central Business District.

While the operations are set to continue, police can confirm the following:

*Over 560 undocumented foreign nationals were taken in for processing. Their status in the country will be determined by the Department of Home Affairs while the Local Criminal Record Centre from the SAPS will determine criminal records;

*Unlicenced firearms – 6 rifles, 6 pistols, 4 shotguns and hundreds of ammunition of varying calibres were found in one room on the 12th floor of Medical One Shopping Centre in Rahima Moosa Street. A suspect was arrested for possession of unlicenced firearms and ammunition. The firearms will be subjected to ballistic testing to determine possible usage in the commission of crime.

*Large consignments of counterfeit goods including clothing and sneakers were found in different buildings. The monetary value is yet to be determined;

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*Information received further led police to Lister Building where 46 vehicles including panel vans were found on different levels of the basement parking. The vehicles were loaded to capacity with more counterfeit goods which were confiscated by the police.

It is worth noting was the arrest of seven police officers by their own colleagues, for corruption and defeating the ends of justice. In the first incident, a Warrant Officer and four Constables were arrested at Johannesburg Central Police Station after they were caught attempting to resell confiscated goods back to the illegal traders.

In the second incident, two members from the Tactical Response Team were arrested after police investigated a possible leak of information about the planned operation in the Johannesburg CBD.

The two were linked through an investigation and an eye witness account. Police believe the loot found in the 46 vehicles in the basement parking at Lister Building, could be the cargo that was removed the night before after the illegal traders had received a tip-off.