More arrests after raids on gem syndicate
Johannesburg - Two more alleged members of a Kuruman gem syndicate busted by the Hawks have been arrested, bringing the total number of arrests to 31, said Northern Cape police on Thursday.
Captain Tony Modise said the men were arrested between Wednesday night and the early hours of Thursday morning.
This follows the arrest of 29 members of the syndicate in Kuruman, 230km north-west of Kimberley, on Wednesday.
The syndicate had been operating out of four gem mines in the area. They had been under investigation since August 2009, with the Hawks infiltrating the group in August 2010.
Three of those arrested were policemen while the others were all employed by the mines in various roles.
Modise said police seized R15m in stolen precious stones, copper cable and explosives.
Two cars, one of them a police vehicle, 29 cellphones, a scale and documents were also confiscated.
All 31 accused were expected to appear in the Kuruman Magistrate's Court on Friday.