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Police destroy illegal guns

‘Mantoetse Maama

MASERU — The Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) on Friday destroyed about 1 000 illegal firearms that were recovered in a crackdown against the use of illegal weapons.

Police Commissioner ‘Malejaka Letooane said 99 percent of the weapons were recovered through information provided by law-abiding citizens.

Among the guns that were destroyed were 481 pistols, 81 starter revolvers, 60 short guns, 23 revolvers and four air-guns.

The police also destroyed 352 faulty service rifles from their own armoury.

“Police recovered illegal firearms which were close to 1 000 from the wrong hands,” Letooane said.

“The police are both constitutionally empowered to maintain law and order and statutorily clothed with power to search, seize and place before the courts of law illegally possessed exhibits such as firearms, with a view to provide safety and security to all. This is our co-business in policing.”

She said the firearms were mostly confiscated during Operation Zero Tolerance, an intensive police programme to fight crime.

The police say they recover about 20 illegal firearms every week.

Most of the weapons are said to be smuggled from South Africa in exchange for dagga which is grown in the rural districts.

Letooane said the LMPS will continue to ensure that citizens and visitors to Lesotho are all safe and secure.

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