The multidisciplinary Joint Forces comprising members of SAPS, SANDF and Department of Home Affairs in collaboration with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy through Operation Vala Umgodi have arrested numerous suspects of illegal mining and illegal immigrants in various districts over the weekend.

During the tour of Operation they have arrested three male suspects aged between 16 and 30 years for illegal mining and contravention of immigration act nabbed while they were digging minerals underground at separate locations at Lulekani and Malipsdrift policing precincts on Sunday 17 March 2024.

It is reported that members of the SAPS, in collaboration with the members of the SANDF have recovered an abandoned motor vehicle a white Isuzu KB towing a yellow trailer, with GP registration numbers, while fully loaded with chrome near Mahlakwena illicit mining along R555 road.

The Police have confiscated mining equipment from the suspected illegal miners that includes 11 x shovels, 3 x spades, 3 x pik, 3 x iron bars, 1 x mine lab detector and 5 x detector batteries.

The total number of suspects arrested over the weekend is forty-three for contravention of immigration act arrested in Waterberg District and Beitbridge Port of Entry with three illegal miners arrested at Malipstrift and Lulekani policing precincts, respectively.

The Police are following information that leads to the apprehension of the suspects left abandoned the vehicle with stolen chrome at the scene of illegal mining.

The suspects are expected to appear before various Magistrate’s Courts soon in the week.