Four arrested for smuggling food parcels worth R1m to illegal miners
Four people, including a supervisor at a security company, have been arrested for allegedly smuggling food parcels and mining equipment to illegal miners in Bekkersdal, on the West Rand.
Police spokesperson Capt Mavela Masondo said security guards were patrolling the area on Tuesday evening when they noticed a suspicious white bakkie at an isolated ventilation site of the mine.
“As the guards were approaching the bakkie, four of the suspects jumped out and ran on foot. The driver also sped off and security guards gave chase until the suspect was intercepted,” said Masondo.
Equipment including a grinder, a welding machine and electric cords were found in the bakkie.
The 31-year-old driver was identified as the supervisor of the security company contracted to the mine, said Masondo.
The supervisors led officers to a house in Bekkersdal, where they discovered a Toyota Quantum loaded with packed groceries and other assortments. In the house more food parcels were found. Masondo said the food parcels had an estimated value of R1m.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the food packs were about to be taken to illegal miners who are reported to be operating underground.”
Two men, aged 31 and 32, and a woman, aged 27, were arrested at the house.
All four arrested were charged with conspiracy to commit crime and are expected to appear in the Westonaria magistrate’s court soon.