Six arrested in two days for illegal mining in North West

12 November 2019 - 17:21
By ERNEST MABUZA
Four more people have been arrested for illegal mining in Orkney, bringing the total to six in the past few days.
Image: iStock images Four more people have been arrested for illegal mining in Orkney, bringing the total to six in the past few days.

North West police arrested four men suspected of illegal mining activities on Monday.

The men were arrested at Vaal Reefs 23 Shaft, near Orkney, by the Illicit Mining Task Team, which consists of various police units and security companies.

The men will face charges of illegal mining, possession of explosives, possession of gold-bearing material, trespassing and possession of dagga.

Police seized a number of items, including detonator cords, fuse detonators, 35kg of mercury, dagga, 1,600 torch batteries and numerous cellphones.

Police spokesperson Capt Aafje Botma said the arrests bring to six the number of people taken into custody in two days in the same area on charges of illicit mining.

On Sunday, two suspects were arrested at Vaal Reefs 6 and 7 shafts following a shootout between alleged illegal miners and the police. A security guard was injured.

Police officers seized a 40kg bag of gold-bearing material and two batteries during the operation.

An attempted murder case is also being investigated.

Botma said the suspects would appear in the Orkney magistrate’s court soon.

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