Saturday, July 13, 2024

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Alleged illegal mining kingpin nabbed in Atok, Limpopo

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An alleged “notorious” illicit mining kingpin in the Atok area in Limpopo was arrested on Wednesday.

Police intelligence led officers to three individuals, aged between 31 and 45, who were allegedly caught red-handed.

Police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said one of the men was a Congolese national, believed to be the mastermind behind the illegal mining operations in and around the Atok region.

“In a coordinated operation on Wednesday, 19 June 2024, a swift response by a multidisciplinary team, including units from the South African Police Service, the South African National Defence Force, and the National Intervention Unit under Operation Vala Umgodi, resulted in the apprehension of a notorious illicit mining kingpin in the Atok area along the R37 road, within the Apel policing precinct.“

“Acting on actionable intelligence, the team swiftly mobilised and intercepted illegal mining activities, leading to the arrest of three individuals.”

The team seized a white and blue Scania horse and trailer truck loaded with chrome, Tractor-Loader-Backhoe, a maroon Toyota Yaris, and a white Ford Ranger.

“The arrested suspects are set to appear before the Apel Magistrate’s Court in due course,” said Ledwaba.

Illegal chrome mining is rife in Atok, where illicit miners return even when shafts are closed by the frustrated community.

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