Home Business Meeko Commends Arrest of 6 Suspects Involved in Illegal Fishing in Orangeville

Meeko Commends Arrest of 6 Suspects Involved in Illegal Fishing in Orangeville

by Central News Reporter
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The MEC for department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA), Thabo Meeko and Free State Premier Mxolisi Dukwana will join forces to officially inaugurate the Rui Star Iron-Steel plant on Friday, July 21, 2023, at Thaba Nchu Industrial Park.

Thabo Meeko

Thabo Meeko, the Free State Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA) MEC, has expressed his satisfaction with the arrest of six individuals who were engaged in illegal fishing activities at Vaal Dam and its surrounding areas.

According to Mojalefa Mphapang, spokesperson for DESTEA, the arrest is the result of a joint operation conducted by various law enforcement agencies, including SAPS Crime Intelligence, Home Affairs, and DESTEA Biodiversity Enforcement and Compliance.

Free State MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA), Mr. Thabo Meeko

Free State MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA), Mr. Thabo Meeko

This operation was initiated in response to a plea from the Oranjeville community, who had expressed concerns about illegal fishing taking place in their vicinity.

Through an intelligence-driven investigation, the team discovered that illegal immigrants were using nets to fish and subsequently transporting their catch to Gauteng.

These criminals would operate by deploying long nets in the dams of Oranjeville during the night and retrieving the fish in the morning.

“We commend the swiftness with which the joint team executed this operation. It serves as a clear deterrent to those who wish to undermine government efforts aimed at revitalizing and restoring the Free State economy,” stated MEC Meeko.

Since the inception of the integrated deployment of this team to combat biodiversity and immigration crimes in Oranjeville, six suspects have been apprehended.

MEC Meeko also expressed his appreciation for the community of Oranjeville, commending them for reporting the illegal activity. He emphasized the importance of community members safeguarding their infrastructure and resources by promptly reporting any criminal acts to law enforcement agencies.

Wildlife crime has been identified as a priority offense in South Africa, as it leads to substantial financial losses for the province.

“We urge the court to impose severe penalties on illegal fishing criminals as a means of deterring potential perpetrators from committing similar offenses,” concluded MEC Meeko.

 

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