From the news desk

Operation Combat makes headway against Cape gangsters

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The arrest of an alleged Vereeniging gun dealer and collector is a “significant development” in the police’s investigation into gangsterism, deputy provincial commissioner Major General Jeremy Vearey said on Friday.

Ongoing investigations into the supply of arms to gangs on the Cape Flats resulted in businessman Alan Raves appearing in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Friday. Raves faces a range of charges, including racketeering, theft and tampering with firearms.

Vearey, who also heads Operation Combat, declined to confirm on whether other arrests were imminent.

“We follow wherever the transactional activity and corruption takes us,” he said.

His team’s strategy, Vearey explained, was different from “the normal [seizing] of the firearm on the user end”.

“[Operation Combat] tries to cut the supply lines of firearms and drugs. Most of our drug seizures, for example, are in higher volumes and involve a greater degree of sophistication higher up in the value chain with the supplier of [contraband].”

Raves, 50, who faces 34 charges, was released on R20 000 bail. He will be back in the dock on September 11, along with co-accused ex-police colonel Chris Prinsloo.

The former officer appeared in court last month and was accused of being part of a group of criminals who stole guns and ammunition destined for destruction. These were then resold, primarily to Cape Flats gangs.

The case against both accused is being heard in Bellville in an attempt to centralise the charges against the duo.

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