Newcastle factories are facing increased scrutiny after an operation led by the Newcastle South African Police Service (SAPS) resulted in the arrest of 30 individuals found to be in the country without legal authorisation.
The operation, coordinated by Newcastle SAPS in collaboration with representatives of the Department of Home Affairs, took place on Sunday, 17 September 2023.
Newcastle SAPS spokesperson Lizzy Arumugam shed light on the event, stating, “A total of 30 people were arrested for either being undocumented immigrants or not having the necessary work permits.”
The team of police officers and officials from the Department of Home Affairs, according to Arumugam, arrested the illegal foreign nationals at a tavern situated on Gutenberg Street, Riverside Industrial. They had allegedly been socialising together when law enforcement suddenly descended upon them.
All of the foreign nationals were not only taken into police custody but were also detained by Home Affairs, which will now take further steps against them.
This incident marks the second significant operation within a span of 12 days whereby local law enforcement took action against illegal immigrants.
On 5 September 2023, law enforcement apprehended 15 illegal immigrants from a business establishment situated on Gutenberg Street.
Following their arrest, the individuals were held in custody at the Newcastle SAPS holding cells before their appearance at the Newcastle Magistrate Court. Subsequently, they were handed over to the relevant authorities for deportation.
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With the Newcastle SAPS collaborating closely with other government entities to minimise the entry of foreign nationals into the town and keeping a close eye on local factories, Arumugam highlighted further investigations were now underway into the incident.
She said that even more high density operations are planned for Newcastle as a whole and the aim of the investigations will be to look into the employers of foreign nationals.
As law enforcement intensifies efforts to clamp down on offending factories, the community is encouraged to share their thoughts and opinions on this matter in the comment section below.