Police disrupted an illegal mining operation in Benoni, Ekurhuleni, and arrested more than 30 suspected illegal miners on Thursday.
These arrests were made during an O Kae Molao police operation led by Gauteng community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko and Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela.
Police spokesperson Lt-Col Mavela Masondo said the suspected illegal miners, aged between 13 and 54, were found with explosives and other equipment used for illegal mining.
“The police destroyed the structures used as workshops and hiding places by the illegal miners.
“The suspects will be charged under legislation related to illegal mining activities and illegal possession of explosives, among other crimes,” Masondo said.
He said the detainees will also be processed by the department of home affairs, as they are all suspected to be undocumented foreign nationals.
Masondo said in the second phase of the operation, police in Benoni conducted a roadblock where two cars with engine numbers which had been tampered with were impounded. He said seven illegal liquor outlets regarded as generators of crime were also closed down.
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