Hawks infiltrate, take down gem syndicate
Johannesburg - Twenty nine people were arrested and R15m in stolen goods was seized after the Hawks busted a gem syndicate in Kuruman, 230km north-west of Kimberley, on Wednesday, said Northern Cape police.
Captain Tony Modise said the syndicate operated out of four gem mines in the Kuruman area and had been under investigation since August 2009.
The Hawks infiltrated the syndicate in August 2010. They began arresting those implicated around Kuruman from midnight onwards.
Of those arrested, three were policemen while the others were all employed by the mines in various roles.
Police recovered stolen precious stones, copper cable, and explosives and were searching for four other men connected to the syndicate, said Modise.
The 29 accused will appear in the Kuruman Magistrate's Court on Friday.