–Edited by Bev Mortimer- The SAPS used a helicopter to help find and arrest three illegal immigrants allegedly engaged in illegal mining in Polokwane yesterday.
The trio face charges of illegal mining, possession of explosives and Contravention of the Immigration Act.
The men, two from Mozambique, aged 31 and 45, and one from Zimbabwe, aged 25, who allegedly conducted an illegal mining, disruptive operation in the area, tried to flee to a mountain top to escape about 2 pm yesterday in Zandrivier, Westernburg policing area.
The suspects were apprehended for conducting an illegal mining disruptive operation in the area by law enforcement and related agencies, including members of Provincial Organised Crime Investigation Unit, POPS, Illegal Mining Task Team, Airwing, Explosives Unit, Provincial LCRC Task Team, Tshimollo Security Company and the Department of Minerals and Energy (DMRE).
During the arrest, police seized illegal mining equipment of an undetermined value, including one Ryobi Generator, two Hilti demolition breakers, one solar panel, two drill bits and chisel.
In addition, 54 bags containing gold bearing materials and explosives comprising 10n blasting cartridges, three pieces detonating cord and five detonating fuses were also confiscated.
The trio will appear before Polokwane Magistrate’s court on 28 April. Police investigations are continuing.