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Cops nab 21 suspects during illegal mining clampdown in Frances Baard, Namakwa districts

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Operation Vala Umgodi actions launched in the Frances Baard and Namakwa districts of the Northern Cape resulted in the apprehension of 21 suspects for violating illicit mining and immigration statutes.

Pictures: SAPS

RECENT Operation Vala Umgodi actions launched in the Frances Baard and Namakwa districts of the Northern Cape resulted in the apprehension of 21 suspects for violating illicit mining and immigration statutes.

According to provincial police spokesperson Sergeant Timothy Sam, the multi-disciplinary initiative, which seeks to combat illegal mining and related criminal activities in the Northern Cape, took place between Wednesday, June 26, and Friday, June 28.

Led by task teams comprising members of the South African Police Service (SAPS), South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and Department of Home Affairs (DHA) Immigration Services, intelligence-driven operations were conducted in key areas of the Province.

In the Frances Baard District, teams targeted Colville in Kimberley and Belbank in Windsorton. Meanwhile, in the Namakwa District, they focused on the Koingnaas and Bontekoi mining regions.

During these operations, authorities arrested a total of 21 individuals. Among the detainees were nationals from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Mozambique. Some were apprehended for engaging in illegal mining activities, while others were held as undocumented immigrants.

Significant evidence was seized during the raids, including various mining implements and bags containing suspected diamond-bearing gravel.

The suspects are expected to appear before the respective magistrate’s courts in the near future.

Sam emphasised the importance of community vigilance. “If you see something, say something,” he advised, urging citizens to report illegal mining to the SAPS Crime Stop hotline at 08600 10111.

Pictures: SAPS

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