Clampdown on ‘illegal miners’ continues in Krugersdorp, dozens arrested

Clampdown on ‘illegal miners’ continues in Krugersdorp, dozens arrested

Police Minister Bheki Cele says more than 40 suspected illegal miners have been arrested in an anti-crime operation in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg.

police operation west rand

Cele led an underground operation on Tuesday.

The anti-crime blitz was one of several raids conducted at mine dumps in the wake of the gang rape of eight young women last week when scores were also arrested.

Cele said the police, through the Hawks, are on the hunt for those who are in charge of the syndicates involved in illegal mining on the West Rand.

The minister believes the suspects might have been trafficked to South Africa from Mozambique.

"This operation is not just to respond to the incident that happened, it is to make sure that the incident doesn't happen again. Those guys in here are armed. We need to find those firearms and all those things they use, it is a serious criminal operation.

“What is worrying, you see very young people from Mozambique, and I don't know if those guys on their own they found their way down here. It does look like there is some form of human trafficking. Maybe we are doing enough on the ground level, but we need to go upstairs, we need to find the bosses.

“What we need to do now is to keep rolling this operation in all other four problematic provinces and just put the authority of the state and make people live normal again," added Cele.

Cele says the firearms seized at the scene are also suspected to come from Mozambique.

"The investigations will tell us more, but those guns are not from channels of SAPS, SAPS don't have AK47s. Most of these people are from Mozambique, so we hope that most of the guns will be from there and other countries, but there is a lot of guns here.”


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