By Otto Ngoveni
GIYANI- At least12 suspects, aged between 32 and 63 were arrested by the Hawks’s Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit on Tuesday at Mapuve village few kilometres outside Giyani town.
The Hawks provincial spokesperson, Captain Matimba Maluleke says that the suspects were arrested during an intelligence driven, disruptive operation aimed at dealing with illegal processing of mineral.
“We are committed to uproot all criminal activities in all spheres of the province and we need community engagement to help fight all this criminal activity”, said Captain Maluleke.
During the operation, the Hawks uncovered backyard gold processing laboratories and seized gold mining equipment which includes gas cylinders, generators, gold bearing materials, mercury, automatic and manual operating pendukas, industrial hammers, gold bearing material grinders, wheelbarrows and industrial torches/flash lights with the estimated value of over R1.5M.
All suspects will appear in the Giyani Magistrate Court tomorrow to face charges of contravention of Precious Metal Act 37 of 2005 Sec 4 possessions of unrought precious metal.
During the previous drive led by the same Hawks, over 30 suspects were arrested and some were released on bail