FOURIESBURG – South African police have arrested 14 suspects at the Butha-Buthe – Fouriesburg border who are allegedly linked to investigations into unlicensed firearms in Welkom.
The 14 were arrested on Sunday night for allegedly crossing into South Africa illegally, and one of them for also being in possession of an unlicensed firearm.
Police had received intelligence that the group, allegedly linked to investigations of unlicensed firearms in Welkom, was wreaking havoc in Lesotho
Free State police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele says Welkom Public Order Police Reaction Team, who had been following up the information on unlicensed firearms received new information that led them to the suspects.
“When they were near Fouriesburg they received information from the Caledonspoort Port of Entry police about a group of people terrorizing a community in Butha-Buthe, Lesotho with firearms and that they were crossing over South Africa illegally.” Says Brigadier Motantsi Makhele
He says reinforcements were requested and they waited for the group alongside the border.
“At approximately 20:30 a white taxi arrived near the border to collect those aforementioned group. When the group approached the taxi, they were all tactically surrounded and restrained.” says Makhele.
He says one of the 14 suspects was found in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, a 9mm pistol with serial numbers removed.
All 14 were undocumented foreign nationals, presumably from Lesotho.
The identities, including nationalities, of the suspects can only be confirmed when they appear in court.
The 14 suspects are now in custody and they are expected to appear before the Fouriesburg Magistrate court soon to face charges of illegal immigration, and one of them an additional charge of possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.