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R2 million worth of chrome, equipment seized, illegal miners remanded in custody

The Hawks are continuing to dismantle Illegal mining syndicate operations by conducting disruptive multidisciplinary operations.

This follows a successful disruptive operation consisting of Limpopo Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation, National Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Provincial Illegal Mining Task Team, National Crime Intelligence, Local Criminal Record Centre and State Security Agency that resulted in the arrest of three alleged illegal miners at Ga-Maroga village in Driekop area outside Burgersfort on 25 February 2023.

The team received Intelligence about an ongoing illegal mining activities in the area and swiftly conducted a sting operation. When the team pounced on the suspects, they were allegedly caught busy loading chrome that was illegally mined onto the truck.

During the operation, the team managed to seize 1 Bell Tractor Loader Back-Hoe(TLB), 1 Tipper truck fully loaded with chrome, 1 Jeep Wrangler vehicle and a firearm with 18 ammunition valued at R2 million.

The three accused, Charles Maroga (35), Simphiwe Shabangu (37) and Steven Mgadula (57) already appeared in the Mecklenburg Magistrates’ Court on 27 February 2023 and they were remanded in custody until 2 March 2023 for further investigation.

The Provincial Head of the Hawks in Limpopo Province, Major General Gopz Govender has issued a stern warning to illegal miners, particularly the masterminds. “It is high time that those who are involved in illegal mining activities refrain from such because their days are numbered and we will use every resources at our disposal to fight this scourge. We will also make sure that their assets accumulated through this criminal act are forfeited”. Major General Govender added.

SAPS Newsroom

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