illegal foreign nationals arrested for illegal mining

Over the weekend, the combined efforts of the SAPS, SANDF, and Department of Home Affairs, along with collaboration from the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy under Operation Vala Umgodi, led to the arrest of numerous individuals involved in illegal mining and immigration violations across different areas.

Scores arrested for illegal mining

Material recovered

Three male suspects, aged between 16 and 30, were arrested for their involvement in illegal mining and violating immigration laws while excavating minerals underground in separate locations at Lulekani and Malipsdrift policing precincts on 17 March 2024.

During the operation, law enforcement recovered an abandoned white Isuzu KB vehicle towing a yellow trailer, loaded with chrome, near Mahlakwena illicit mining along the R555 road.

Illegal mining activities

Yellow trailer recovered

Additionally, various mining equipment, including shovels, spades, picks, iron bars, a mine lab detector, and detector batteries, were confiscated from the suspected illegal miners.

Illegal mining equipment

Mining equipment

A total of 43 suspects were arrested over the weekend for immigration violations, with three illegal miners arrested at Malipsdrift and Lulekani policing precincts.

Law enforcement are actively pursuing leads to arrest the suspects who abandoned the vehicle containing stolen chrome at the illegal mining site.

Abandoned bakkie with chrome

The arrested suspects are expected to appear before different Magistrate’s Courts throughout the week.


Must read: 12 illegal undocumented Lesotho nationals arrested for illegal mining

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