Football hooligans nabbed by authorities

Monday, June 7, 2010

Pretoria - Ten Argentine football hooligans were intercepted and refused entry into the country, shortly after they landed in South Africa on Sunday.

According to the police's National Joint Operation and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) the hooligans, as known as the 'Barrabravas', were in police custody and were expected to be sent back to Argentina on Monday (7 June).

"The group of Barrabravas boarded a flight to South Africa from Luanda and landed at OR Tambo Airport just after 1pm on Sunday. They were immediately intercepted and refused entry into the country," NATJOINTS said in a statement.

Of the group being detained, at least two are leaders within the Barrabravas, while a third one is out on bail for murder, police added.

International policing cooperation and coordination between South African Government departments resulted in football hooligans being identified as they were en route to South Africa.

Police said that intelligence provided by the South African Police Service's Crime Intelligence Division, led to Home Affairs placing the Barrabravas on an immigration list prohibiting their entry into South Africa.

"Intelligence indicated that these persons would commit acts of public disorder, engage in acts of violence and provoke conflict with certain fans of opponent teams and other groups from Argentina during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"They are known to have a history of being involved in crime and antagonising local law enforcement agencies," NATJOINTS added.

Police described the interception of the football hooligans as ground breaking and added that it should sound a warning to other soccer hooligans.

"This move sends out a strong signal that the police's Crime Intelligence Division is closely monitoring the movement of known football hooligans and that Government will not tolerate their presence - accompanied by their loutish and violent behaviour - in our country," NATJOINTS said.