The Hawks in Gauteng and the North West have arrested 28 members of a syndicate trafficking and dealing in precious metals such as gold, platinum and palladium.
A two-day long intelligence-led operation started in the early hours of Wednesday and was concluded today.
According to Hawks spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko, 23 properties were raided across the two provinces, leading to the arrest of syndicate members aged between 28 and 63.
Ramaloko said upon searching the properties, over R1 million in cash and gold to the value of over R2 million believed to be the proceeds of their illegal dealings, were seized.
“The activities of this syndicate were kept under intelligence surveillance for over a year. In this time, a number of illegal precious metals transactions to the value of R23 million, were made.”
This syndicate, Ramaloko said, would put illegally-acquired precious metals from illegal mining activities on a legal market locally and through regional trade.
All suspects will appear in court today. Two will appear in Springs and 26 in the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court.
They will face charges of dealing in and smuggling precious metals. Money laundering charges may be added later. – SAnews.gov.za
Source : SAnews.gov.za