The North West Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Ryno Naidoo lauded the Klerksdorp Cluster Crime Combating Unit, Stabilisation team comprising of National Intervention Unit (NIU), Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management (CR & CSM), K9 Units from Kuruman, Cradock, Pretoria, Rustenburg as well as Rapid Rail Unit, Detectives from Pretoria and Hawks for apprehending six suspects and bringing to a halt what appears to be illegal mining and gold refining activities.
The suspects aged between 24 and 42 were arrested on Thursday, 21 March 2019 at about 10:00 after the team acted on information about suspicious illegal activities at a certain place in Khuma near Stilfontein.
The team allegedly went to a house where upon arrival, two suspects tried to flee by jumping over the wall fence. The pair’s freedom came to an end when the police arrested them. The third suspect was arrested after being found inside the house.
The police conducted a search that led to discovery and confiscation of mining equipment, generators, electric motors, drills and processed gold. While still processing the scene, the police noticed equipment used to process gold dust at another house not far from the first one.
A couple residing at the second house fled, but were later arrested. During the search at the second house, the police confiscated another mining equipment, generators, electric motors, drills, processed gold dust and explosives.
The sixth suspect who is alleged to be the owner of the first house, was arrested later in Potchefstroom. All six suspects, five males and one female are expected to appear in the Stilfontein Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 25 March 2019 on charges of illegal mining, illegal refining of gold, illegal possession of gold bearing material, illegal possession of suspected stolen goods and illegal possession of explosives.
The Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI) is investigating.
The Acting Provincial Commissioner commended the multi-disciplinary stabilisation team for acting speedily and diligently to stamp the authority of the state by ensuring that the suspects are brought to book. He said that the arrest will serve as a lesson to those who continue to mine illegally that crime does not pay.
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