MULTIDISCIPLINARY INTELLIGENCE-DRIVEN OPERATION LEAD TO THE THE ARREST OF 11 SUSPECTS AND THE RECOVERY OF CHROME WORTH 5 MILLION RANDS
Nelspruit: 29 April 2022 -The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has welcome the arrest of 11 suspects and recovery of chrome worth about R 5 Million on Thursday, 28 April 2022 in Witbank.
According to the report, on the day in question at around 15H00, a team of law enforcement agencies that were in possession of a search warrant conducted a sting operation. The team consisted of members from Witbank SAPS, the Witbank Crime Intelligence members as well as officials from Transnet. A search and seizure was conducted by the astute members at Self Storage offices in Witbank. During the operation at the facilities, a discovery of four facility rooms packed with mining chrome was made. The police then arrested the eleven suspects on the premises whilst they were reportedly busy loading chrome into a truck.
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During the initial investigation conducted at the crime scene, it was discovered that the arrested suspects were part of suspects who were allegedly stealing and smuggling chrome from trains between Ferro Metals Witbank and Richardsbay in KwaZulu-Natal. It is suspected that the chrome was transported in trucks to Gauteng where it was then sold to certain individuals.
Amongst the 11 suspects, one female and 8 males are from Zimbabwe meanwhile two other males are from Mozambique. The investigation has so far revealed that the woman, believed to be the kingpin was in possession of a South African ID whereas the rest did not have legal documents to be in the country. The police are working in partnership with the Department of Home Affairs to determine the status of the woman and also to find out how she got hold of the Identity Document. The suspects are facing charges which include the illegal possession of mining chrome whilst the 10 were also charged for contravention of the Immigration Act of South Africa. The investigation regarding this matter is continuing and more arrests are expected.
The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has further appreciated the collaborative effort displayed by the team which produced desired results. “As part of the PROVJOINTS Structure, we will continue to work in collaboration with law enforcement agencies to root out crime whenever it raises its ugly head without fear or favour “ emphasised the General.
Police urge anyone with any information on Crime to call the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111. Alternatively, members of the public can send information via MYSAPSAPP. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.