Police operations net 53 suspected illegal miners

Police in Gauteng have arrested 53 suspects for illegal mining while also seizing equipment during an operation in Kagiso.

The weekend arrests were made by multi-disciplinary teams operating in the West Rand, as part of the ongoing police efforts to combat illicit mining and associated crimes.

South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Brigadier Brenda Muridili said the two-day operation which began on Saturday, led to the apprehension of 53 suspects for charges that include contravention of the Precious Metals Act, contravention of the Immigration Act and possession of a replica firearm.

She said: “The units that have been deployed include Tactical Response Teams (TRT), National Intervention Unit (NIU), Mounted Unit, Visible Policing, K9 Unit and Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation specifically to focus on medium to high risk situations in the district. [The] POP [Public Order Police] and Crime Prevention units focus is to enhance visibility and prevention of crime in communities.

“The Department of Home Affairs officials on the other hand are assisting with arrested undocumented persons.”

Last week the SAPS deployed specialised units to the West Rand to flush out illegal miners said to be terrorising communities in the area.

Police Minister Bheki Cele last weekend held a two-day crime combating imbizo in the region as part of ongoing police efforts to combat illicit mining and associated crimes. Engagements were held in West Village, Krugersdorp and Kagiso.

Close to 100 suspects were arrested in the area following the robbery and rape of eight women during a video shoot at an abandoned mine.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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