Ricochet News

Foreign nationals arrested in East London for illegal firearm possession

Mar 18, 2019
Foreign nationals arrested in East London for illegal firearm possession

East London - An intelligence-driven operation was conducted at Nompumelelo location over the weekend by East London Crime Intelligence and Mdantsane OCC, which led to the arrest of four male foreign nationals.

"The members followed an information of foreign nationals that are possessing unlicenced firearms at Nompumelelo Location, in Beacon Bay, East London," described police spokesperson, Captain Hazel Mqala.

"Three pistols with live ammunition were found in their possession."

She said that the suspects are aged 24, 33, 34 and 35 years.

"All these suspects arrested for possession of unlicensed firearms and live ammunitions," Capt Mqala added.

"They will appear in the East London Magistrate's Court on Monday."

Illegal firearms in South Africa

There is a major problem with illegal firearms in South Africa.

The Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000 regulates the ownership of firearms by civilians. However, ownership of a firearm is conditional on a competency test and several other factors, including background checking of the applicant, inspection of an owner's premises, and licensing of the weapon by the police introduced in July 2004.

Because authorities are often not able to adequately or within reasonable time, process either competency certification, new licences or renewal of existing licences, people, who feel they need firearms oftern resort to buying illegal firearms - some of which are stolen from police officers or smuggled into the country.

Criminals also use illegal firearms for anything from robberies to murder.

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