The 11 suspects who were arrested by the Hawks in Rustenburg and Johannesburg for the illegal dealing in and theft of unwrought platinum are expected in court this morning.
The syndicate was arrested on Thursday following an intelligence-driven operation aimed at addressing the illegal dealing of unwrought platinum in the North West and Gauteng provinces.
According to the Hawks, the syndicate is alleged to have been operating since 2014, where unwrought platinum was stolen from the mines in the North West and then sold to suppliers, who in turn supply to the dealers in Gauteng.
“Information was received about the illegal activities by the suspects that led to the swift investigation of the matter and ultimately the arrest of the suspects. The operation resulted in the seizure of unwrought platinum worth approximately R500 000, six vehicles and smelting equipment,” Provincial Head of the Hawks, Major General Linda Mbana, said on Friday.
Mbana said the theft of platinum affects the economy and the mining sector negatively.
She further lauded the investigative efforts of the team and thanked all the stakeholders involved in the operation.
All suspects are expected to appear in court today at the Tlhabane and Johannesburg Magistrate’s Courts respectively to face charges related to Illegal dealing in precious metals.