Two men are due to appear in court today after a weekend bust by the Hawks during which they confiscated illicitly mined gold and 3 000 IDs belonging to deceased people‚ pointing to fraud amounting to R400-million.
The Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources hailed the Hawks operation as “a breakthrough after a three-year intensive investigation into an illegal mining syndicate”.
“We believe that a successful prosecution of the suspects would reaffirm our long-held view that illegal mining is a deep rooted activity‚ in which rich people with resources and connections in high places might be involved‚” Sahlulele Luzipo‚ Committee chairperson‚ said in a statement.
“We hope that this investigation could unearth more syndicates and bring perpetrators to book‚ especially the kingpins who stand to benefit out of the proceeds of illicit activities‚” said Luzipo.
The arrests took place at what is described as a plush estate in Kempton Park‚ Gauteng.
The accused face charges including money laundering‚ racketeering‚ forgery and various tax offences.