Police have arrested several undocumented foreign nationals and also discovered unlicensed firearms during Wednesday’s counterfeit goods raids in the Johannesburg CBD.

This follows last week’s riots when police retreated after hawkers pelted them with stones and petrol bombs.

Gauteng Police Spokesperson Mathapelo Peters says they have also seized large quantities of counterfeit clothing and footwear.

“We have found large consignment of counterfeit goods, of which the value is yet to be determined. We also arrested quite a few undocumented foreign nationals. In one room on the 12th floor of the medical building, we found firearms that did not have licenses. So, those are going to be taken in for ballistics. We can confirm that some of the buildings were closed down when we came through, but we are opening them.”

Johannesburg Safety MMC Michael Sun says today’s operation is dealing with all acts of criminality.

“It’s a very big operation. We’re not only dealing with the counterfeit goods but also with the other criminalities. I really want to commend our law enforcement for having conducted a very orderly operation, we’re certainly going to continue. Home Affairs is here to deal with the illegal foreign nationals.”

The IFP has welcomed the raids, saying it’s a starting point in tackling crime in the inner city.

Spokesperson Zandile Majozi says, “It’s a starting point. We welcome it, but we still have a long way to go. We must make sure that each and every foreign national in South Africa is documented. You cannot just go in and out as you please, as if you are in your house. So, we still have a long way to go, but since I’m in the portfolio of police, we will also engage on this issue and see what other means can we do to make sure that we minimise the crime that is happening in the CBD.”