Saturday, July 13, 2024

FIRST WITH SECURITY NEWS

Fifteen arrested for illegal mining on a farm outside Nelspruit

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Fifteen suspects, aged between 18 and 51, were arrested for allegedly illegally mining on a farm outside Nelspruit during a sting operation at the weekend.

Police spokesperson Donald Mdhluli on Monday said suspected gold-bearing materials and equipment, believed to be used in illegal mining, were seized.

“The joint operation was conducted at a certain farm outside Nelspruit by a multidisciplinary team consisting of South African Police Service members in conjunction with officials from the Department of Home Affairs.”

“During the sting operation that was carried out, a number of suspected gold-bearing materials as well as equipment, believed to be used for illegal mining activities, were confiscated by the astute members. These items include 21 generators, electric motors, four jackhammers, nine phendukas and some shovels.”

“The arrested suspects were caught while reportedly busy operating in the area and the team also discovered many trenches that were dug. Some food items that were confiscated, are believed to be sold to suspected illegal miners so that, instead of traveling far to get food, they get these items nearer,” said Mdhluli. 

He said the arrested foreign nationals – seven from Mozambique, three from Zimbabwe and one from the Kingdom of Eswatini – were also charged with Contravention of the Immigration Act of South Africa after it was established that they did not have valid documentation to be in the country.

The suspects were expected to appear in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

“Meanwhile Mpumalanga SAPS commissioner, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, emphasised that Operation Vala Umgodi continues to dismantle activities of illegal mining and so far in the province, more good results are coming and members should be applauded for their continuous efforts,” said Mdhluli.

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