News24 Wire
Wire Service
1 minute read
4 Jan 2020
8:45 am

40 explosive devices seized from illegal mining operation in Benoni

News24 Wire

Illegal mining is contributing to serious and violent crime in the province, according to the Gauteng provincial police commissioner.

The detrimental effects of illegal mining on SA’s economy spread far further than the problems of lost gold and government royalties. Image: Mpumalanga News

Gauteng police have confiscated 40 blasting cartridges, seven connector capped fuses and a length of detonating fuse used by illegal miners during a raid in Benoni.

Thirteen undocumented foreign nationals were taken in for verification of their stay in the country, while three were fined for running illegal liquor outlets. They were shut down and the alcohol seized.

Police spokesperson Mathapelo Peters said the operation was part of their safer festive season operation in different parts of Gauteng.

Peters added other items they found included iron pots, gas bottles, phendukas which were used by illegal miners.

“Members of the SAPS Bomb Disposal-Explosives Unit from Germiston, who were part of the operation, had to urgently destroy some of the explosives which they found were primed and ready to blow.

“The explosives experts found it would have been too risky to transport the primed explosives as any friction, heat or shock could set them off, exposing people to injuries and or death,” Peters said.

The police also seized food, bottled water and grocery items suspected to be provisions for illegal miners.

Gauteng provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela welcomed the successes of the operation.

Mawela assured the public the police would continue to intensify the operations to effectively deal with illegal mining, which was contributing to serious and violent crime in the province.

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