12 arrested for allegedly operating illegal gold processing labs in Limpopo

2018-05-09 15:40
Hawks. (Felix Dlangamandla/Gallo)

Hawks. (Felix Dlangamandla/Gallo)

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Twelve suspects were arrested on Monday for allegedly operating illegal gold processing laboratories at Mapuve village outside Giyani in Limpopo, the Hawks said on Wednesday.

Hawks regional spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke said officers seized 10 illegal gold processing laboratories and gold mining equipment which included gas cylinders, generators and gold beating materials.

"They also seized mercury, automatic and manual operating pendukas (containers used for extracting gold particles), industrial hammers, gold-bearing material grinders, [and] industrial torches or flashlights," said Maluleke.

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Maluleke said the estimated value of all seized items was more than R1.5m.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Giyani Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, facing charges of contravening the Precious Metals Act.

Hawks provincial head Major General Thobeka Jozi commended the team for their efforts.

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"We are tasked to deal with priority crimes and the zama-zamas and illegal gold dealers are a serious risk to the economy of the province and the country as a whole," Jozi said.

"Together with our partners we will endure and do our best to arrest those who are behind this clandestine operations using and harbouring illegal immigrants to do their dirty work."

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Read more on:    hawks  |  polokwane  |  illegal mining  |  crime

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