Operation Phakisa executed in coastal areas

NORTHERN CAPE - A multi-disciplinary initiative Operation Phakisa, which unlocks the potential of South Africa's oceans was executed in Port Nolloth, Alexander Bay, Kleinzee, Hondeklipbaai, Groenrivier and Nuttabooi mine in the Namakwa area.

Joint operations with external law enforcement agencies and departments were conducted from 25 February 2022 and ended on 28 February 2022, to collectively exhibit optimum efficiency and effectiveness in addressing all forms of crime at sea and on land.

The operations were conducted under the overall command of the Acting Deputy Provincial Commissioner for Policing, Brig Hennie van Rensburg and included various SAPS units and Provincial components as well as external role-players namely:

Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Customs and Immigration and SANPARKS. The Northern Cape Airwing was assisted by members of the Free State Airways in conducting air patrols along the shorelines and over the mining areas.

Operation Phakisa specifically focuses on the enhancement and co-ordinated compliance and enforcement of securing of the South African waters and coastal environment through an integrated multi-dimensional approach to ensure that the environment is conducive for the development of the ocean and economic security of the maritime zones.

Actions and activities executed since 25 February 2022 included stop and searches, vehicle check points, compliance inspections to local businesses and mines, sea and air patrols, compliance inspections to Aqua cultural farms and focusing on illegal harvesting and recreational fishing, drug and other commodity smuggling. SAPS Search and rescue teams visited the harbour, ports and docking bays.

The successes achieved included 112 vehicles and 162 persons stopped and searched at four(4) vehicle checkpoints;

5 males arrested for dealing in drugs;

19 undocumented persons were detained;

1 male arrested for possession of suspected stolen property;

3 traffic fines issued amounting to R2 500-00 and 2 fines amounting to R1 750-00 for possession of undersized white Steenbras.

Custom officials seized counterfeit products and illicit cigarettes valued at R13 810-00.

The Acting Deputy Provincial Commissioner for Policing, Brigadier Hennie van Rensburg expressed his gratitude and appreciation to all SAPS members, departments and law enforcement agencies for the collective disruptive actions that were executed in an effort to protect the marine life and protected species along the coastal areas in the province.

Source: South African Police Service