Thirteen ‘illegal immigrants' nabbed at disused gold mine in North West
Thirteen suspected illegal immigrants are expected to appear in the Klerksdorp magistrate's court on Monday after their arrest at a disused mine.
They were arrested on Friday at the Wolwerand Gold mine in Klerksdorp in a multidisciplinary disruptive operation that included the Hawks' serious organised crime unit, SA National Defence Force (SANDF), Klerksdorp illicit mining task team, national intervention unit, North West explosives unit, K9 and motorcycle units, according to Hawks spokesperson Lt-Col Tinyiko Mathebula.
They were aged 15 to 46 and were allegedly undocumented.
“The suspects were arrested after information was received about the illegal mining of gold in the area. Information was operationalised and the team pounced on the illegal miners who then fled the scene, abandoning their equipment.
“Thirteen suspects who were found on the periphery of the mining site were apprehended and charged with contravention of section 49 of the Immigration Act. Preliminary investigation could not link the suspects to illegal mining. They will appear in the Klerksdorp magistrate's court on Monday.”
Law enforcement officers also seized 15 pendukas, eight generators, a water tank, water pipes and other mining paraphernalia.
Gold-bearing material worth about R200,000 was recovered while four informal gold processing plants were destroyed.
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