Illegal diamond miners in the Namakwa District were dealt a hard blow during a multi-disciplinary operation over three days.
The operation from Friday, 13 January, until Monday, 16 January, mainly focussed on illicit mining at Nuttabooi, Bontekoei, Kleinsee and Port Nolloth areas.
A total of 74 undocumented persons were arrested for Contravention of the Immigration Act, 5 for trespassing, 1 for possession of an uncut diamond and 2 for dealing in dagga. All detainees will be appearing in the Port Nolloth and Springbok court respectively. The undocumented persons will be escorted to the Lindela holding facility in Krugersdorp for repatriation to their respective countries of origin.
Police helicopters from the Western Cape, Gauteng and Free State assisted the ground forces with aerial support by directing members on the ground to the execution points in the mining area.
Coastal patrols were conducted with a 7,8 m ballistic rubber duck along the Port Nolloth and Alexander Bay shoreline. Aerial patrols were also piloted along the South Africa and Namibian borderline.
On Sunday, several suspected drug houses were raided in Okiep, Nababeep, Steinkopf and Concordia, during which liquor was confiscated and a fine issued to the owner.
The local traffic department assisted the police at a static roadblock on Monday on the N7 between Springbok and Steinkopf during which 268 vehicles were stopped and searched, and several traffic fines issued for traffic violations.
Two male suspects, aged 31 and 23, were arrested at the roadblock after being found in possession of dagga with an estimated street value of R30 000. They will soon appear in the Springbok Magistrates Court.
The provincial police commissioner of the Northern Cape, Lt. Gen. Koliswa Otola, took part in the operation which were led by herself, the deputy national commissioner for Policing, Lt. Gen. Tebello Mosikili, senior officers of the national and provincial management, and the Namakwa District Commander, Brig. Schalk Andrews.
Various police stations and units within the Namakwa District, provincial components and specialised units also participated with the assistance of Immigration officials who were on site to process the paperwork of the undocumented persons.
Otola commended the multi-disciplinary task team who executed the disruptive actions, saying this sent a clear message to illegal miners that their disregard for the law will not be tolerated. She said continuous actions in the province will prevail.