SEVERAL suspects were arrested during a joint operation involving multi-disciplinary law enforcement agencies, including the SAPS, the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, the Department of Home Affairs and Customs, that clamped down on criminal activities along the west coast – in Port Nolloth, Kleinzee, Groenrivier, Hondeklip Bay and Alexander Bay.
Northern Cape police spokesperson Captain Olebogeng Tawana said that Operation Phakisa was conducted from November 17 to 21, where stop-and-search operations were carried out to ensure that those who were transporting marine resources without valid documentation were brought to book.
“Premises were cordoned off and searched and vehicle checkpoints, sea borderline patrols and stop and searches were conducted,” said Tawana.
He noted that 12 premises were searched and raided, while 154 vehicles were stopped and searched, 124 persons were stopped and searched and compliance inspections were conducted at three business premises.
“During the operation, more than five suspects were arrested in Port Nolloth and Lutzville for contravention of marine living resources. The suspects were found in possession of more than 70 West Coast rock lobsters, including rock lobster tails, 485 limpets and 100 snoek fish without valid permits.
“Seven undocumented persons were arrested for contravention of the Immigration Act. A suspect was arrested in Hondeklip Bay after he was found in possession of suspected stolen copper cables. A 17-year-old man was also arrested in Port Nolloth and charged for being in possession of drugs, where he was found in possession of crystal meth.”