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Illegal mining crackdown reveals six suspects in Vhembe District

In a concerted effort to combat illegal mining activities and violations of the Immigration Act, the Vhembe District Police, in collaboration with the Mopani District Anti-Illegal Mining Task Teams, executed Operation Vala Umgodi on Sunday, 31 December 2023, at Muchipisi village, situated outside Malamulele.

During the operation, law enforcement agents apprehended six male suspects, ranging from 18 to 44 years old, engaged in unauthorised excavation and processing of precious metals at an illicit mining site in Muchipisi.

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Joint task forces halt illegal mining

The joint task teams, comprised of members from both Vhembe and Mopani Districts, demonstrated a coordinated effort to curtail the escalating issue of illegal mining in the region.

“The police have confiscated mining equipment which were used in the commission of the crime that included 03 x spades, 01x shovel, 03x hammers, 01x wheelbarrow, 04x pendukas, 01 x alpha motor, 02 x pick and 02 x fan belts,” said SAPS in statement.

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Preliminary findings from the investigation indicated that four of the apprehended suspects are undocumented foreign nationals, emphasising the international dimension of the illicit mining trade.

Cross-border concerns prompt stricter immigration measures

The discovery raises concerns about cross-border criminal networks involved in illegal mining activities, prompting authorities to bolster efforts in enforcing immigration regulations and securing the integrity of the nation’s resources.

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