Zama zama gold processing hub shut down
A "disruptive operation" by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit and Crime Intelligence led to the arrest of 12 suspects for operating illegal gold processing laboratories at Mapuve village outside Giyani‚ Limpopo‚ the Hawks said on Wednesday.
"Almost 10 illegal gold processing laboratories‚ gold mining equipment which amongst others include gas cylinders‚ generators‚ gold bearing materials‚ mercury‚ automatic and manual operating pendukas‚ industrial hammers‚ gold bearing material grinders‚ industrial torches/flash lights were seized" in the operation on Monday‚ police said.
"All the suspects‚ who are mostly illegal immigrants and whose personal particulars are still subject to an investigation‚ are expected to appear in the Giyani Magistrate’s Court today and will charged with contravening the Precious Metal Act. More charges are expected."
Limpopo Hawks Provincial Head Major General Thobeka Jozi warned people involved in illegal mining that they should expect more operations in the province.
“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. 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. Their time will come soon‚ ” she said.