ADDIS ABEBA – About 150 of the 600 foreign nationals arrested by South African police on Wednesday are Ethiopians, confirms Ethiopia’s ministry of foreign affairs.
South African Police Service carried out a targeted search operation in Johannesburg’s central business district.
Police said the operation involving immigration officials and customs in the commercial hub was to rid the area of counterfeit businesses and crime
About 600 undocumented “foreign nationals were taken in for processing,” Police said without confirming the nationality of the arrestee.
Ethiopia confirmed on Friday that 150 of the people arrested are its citizens.
Ethiopian Embassy in collaboration with Steve Biko Foundation is working for the release of the citizens in accordance with South African law, according to the ministry of foreign affairs.
“About 150 Ethiopians have been arrested during the operation,” Nebiat Getachew, spokesperson of the MoFA, confirmed.
“Our embassy in Pretoria is now working for the release of Ethiopians according to the country’s law and with their rights respected,” he added.
Police said it found unlicensed firearms in a raid called “Operation O Kae Molao”, meaning Operation Where’s the Law?, launched in 2018. Seven policemen, including four officers who were caught selling the confiscated items to traders, were arrested during the raid.
By Sisay Sahlu
Photo Caption: Police officers in Johannesburg stand outside a locked shop allegedly containing counterfeit goods.