South Africa

Illegal foreigner arrested in possession of uncut diamonds in the Northern Cape

Illegal foreigner with uncut diamonds

Police in the Northern Cape have arrested a Lesotho national after he was found in possession of uncut diamonds.

Police spokesperson, Sergeant Timothy Sam said a multi-disciplinary team executing Operation Vala Umgodi in Kleinsee in the Namakwa District arrested the 21-year-old man for alleged possession of uncut diamonds on Tuesday.

“The team was conducting routine inspections at a vehicle checkpoint near Kleinsee,” Sam said.

The man was also turned out to be living in the country illegally.

“[They] stopped and searched the suspect and found suspected uncut diamonds in his possession. He could not provide a reasonable explanation for the possession of the suspected diamonds and could also not provide the immigration officials with documentation of being legally in the country.”

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The man was subsequently arrested and will appear in court soon.

“Operation Vala Umgodi will strengthen its efforts to eradicate illicit mining and the proliferation of undocumented persons in the Northern Cape,” Sam added.

Tonnes of chrome seized by police and the army

On Tuesday, it was revealed police had arrested two illegal immigrants who were also charged with illegal mining in Limpopo.

Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said police, members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and private security received information that illegal miners created stockpiles of chrome on top of a mountain in the Diphale illicit mining site, for their trucks to collect.

A joint operation was launched and tonnes of chromium was seized.

Foreign nationals work with local, legitimate miners

Last week, it was noted that Odendaalsrus in the Free State, like other mining towns, is seeing an increase in organised crime due to illegal mining, mostly by foreign nationals working with legitimate miners to steal gold and gold-related materials.

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