15 illegal miners arrested

The police have arrested and charged 15 suspects for illegal mining related offences during Operation Vala Umgodi between Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12.

The joint operation was conducted at a certain farm outside Mbombela. The operation consisted of a multidisciplinary team consisting of SAPS members and Department of Home Affairs officials.

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According to the police, during the operation they confiscated various gold bearing materials and equipment used for illegal mining activities. These include 21 generators, electric motors, four jack hammers, and nine phendukas, some shovels and three jack hammers.

15 illegal miners arrested
Confiscated generators.
15 illegal miners arrested
One of the trenches.
15 illegal miners arrested
More generators and gold bearing equipment.

“Our team caught the suspects while they were busy operating in the area. Our team also discovered a lot of trenches that were dug. Some food items that were also confiscated, which are sold to the suspects. Among them, seven are Mozambican nationals, three are Zimbabwean, one from the Kingdom of Eswatini and four South African citizens,” read the police statement.

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Authorities charged the foreign nationals for Contravention of the Immigration Act of South Africa after establishing that they did not possess valid documentation to be in the country. The suspects will appear at the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court today.

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