Gauteng police disrupted an illegal mining operation in Benoni, Ekurhuleni, and arrested more than 30 suspected illegal miners during weekday Operation O Kae Molao led by Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Ms Faith Mazibuko and Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela on Thursday, September 1.
Suspected illegal miners who are 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,” explained police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo.
They will be processed by the Department of Home Affairs as they are all suspected to be undocumented foreign nationals.
The multidisciplinary operation started with the tracing of wanted suspects in the province.
Police say over a thousand people who have been on the run after committing crime that includes gender-based violence were traced and arrested.
In the second phase of the operation, police conducted a roadblock in Benoni where two cars with engine numbers tampered with were impounded.
Seven illegal liquor outlets regarded as generators of crime were closed down.
The disruption of illegal mining operations was the third phase of the operation and also took place in other Districts around Gauteng.