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Police crack down on illegal mining in Kimberley

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The police struck a blow against illegal mining operations in Kimberley with the arrest of 20 suspects and the seizure of various mining equipment.

The operation resulted in the arrest of a number of individuals on charges of illegal mining. Picture: SAPS

THE POLICE struck a blow against illegal mining operations in Kimberley with the arrest of 20 suspects and the seizure of various mining equipment on Monday.

The provincial commissioner of the SAPS in the Northern Cape, Lieutenant-General Koliswa-Otola, lauded the efforts of Operation Vala Umgodi, a dedicated team committed to disrupting these illicit mining activities through proactive crime-prevention measures, including high-density foot patrols.

On Monday, May 20, the team sprang into action, conducting targeted operations in De Beers, Samaria, and Kenilworth in Kimberley. According to police spokesperson Sergeant Molefi Shemane, their swift and strategic actions led to the unearthing of active illegal mining operations.

As the team approached a site, they spotted suspects actively engaged in illegal mining. Despite attempts to escape, the suspects were successfully apprehended by the quick-acting team.

The operation resulted in the arrest of 20 individuals, including 18 men and two women. Among those apprehended were nine South African men aged between 32 and 67, nine male Lesotho nationals aged between 30 and 53, and two South African women aged 30 and 34. The suspects were arrested for their involvement in illegal mining activities and violation of immigration laws.

During the arrest, the police also seized various pieces of mining equipment used in the illicit operations, further crippling the illegal mining activities in the region.

The arrested suspects are scheduled to make their appearance in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court in the coming days.

The police seized various pieces of mining equipment used in illicit operations. Pictures: SAPS

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