MORE than 12 500 illegal panners, machete gangs and border jumpers have so far been arrested by police this year for various illegal activities under the ongoing operations, in a move aimed at ridding the country of malcontents.
This week, police managed to arrest 95 illegal panners and machete gangs, while 210 people were arrested for cross-border crimes.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests yesterday.
He said the police had intensified operations against panners and border jumpers until there was sanity countrywide.
“The ZRP has intensified operations code-named “Chikorokoza Ngachipere / Isitsheketsha Kasiphele and No to Machete Gangs” and “No to Cross Border Crimes/Fhasi Ngamilandu Yamukanoni Yamashango / Mhosva pamiganhu Ngadzipere/ Amacala kawaphele Emingceleni Yelizwe”.
“On April 6, 2021, 95 people were arrested under operation “No to Machete Gangs” bringing the cumulative arrests to 8 464 whilst 210 people were nabbed under operation “No to cross border crimes” bringing the cumulative arrests to 12 549,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi said the police will remain firm on the ground arresting anyone found on the wrong side of the law.
This year, touts, unscrupulous fuel dealers, motorists with unregistered vehicles and those found with dangerous weapons, have also been arrested under various police operations.
The ZRP said it will continue intensifying some of its operations which include; ‘No to unregistered motor vehicles’, ‘No to touts’, ‘No to unscrupulous fuel dealers’, ‘No to illegal forex dealers’, ‘No to dangerous weapons’, ‘No to machete gangs’ and ‘No to cross-border crimes’.
In September last year, gangs armed with machetes and knobkerries resurfaced countrywide, targeting mines and individuals keeping large amounts of cash, prompting police to relaunch “Operation Chikorokoza Ngachipere” and “No to Machete Wielding Gangs”.
This came a few months just after police had restored order in mining areas after taking on the gangs, arresting large numbers and thwarting a wave of violence.
That gang-land violence claimed the lives of several people and left many injured.
Criminal activities by the marauding gangs of machete attackers have seen reports of murder, rape, assault, housebreaking and stock theft.