Florida police have initiated a robust campaign to eradicate illegal mining activities in their jurisdiction, focusing on high-density operations between August 29 and September 4. Their operations targeted hotspot areas, including the Jerusalema and New Canada informal settlements.
Illegal mining activities have had a profoundly negative impact on the communities in this region. Residents had to endure relentless gunfights and explosions, constantly fearing for their safety and their families.
On August 29, multiple arrest warrants were issued for illegal immigrants, leading to the apprehension of nine individuals from Lesotho, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. This operation also resulted in the confiscation drugs and illegal mining equipment found at a nearby site, strongly indicating their involvement in illegal mining.
In Jerusalema informal settlement, authorities discovered and seized seven grams of crystal meth valued at R350. They also collected evidence from mining equipment, including pendukas, picks, spades, jigsaws, mining steel balls, gas cylinder valves, and steel irons. Meanwhile, officers discovered a cooler box in New Canada containing 12 750ml beers and six 750ml milk stouts.
On August 30, Florida police, in collaboration with the West Rand K9 Unit, Crime Prevention Wardens, JMPD, and security firms, conducted an operation that unveiled hidden dangers. Colonel Tsotetsi, the Florida Police Station Commander, reported that the National Intervention Unit patrolled Stormill and made alarming discoveries.
“In New Canada, we discovered one R5 rifle with 11 live rounds, which had been reported stolen at Kagiso Police Station. Additionally, we found a shotgun with 28 live rounds, previously reported stolen at Swartruggens Police Station,” Tsotetsi disclosed.
During these operations, authorities apprehended five Nigerian nationals in a drug-related case and uncovered 20g of crystal meth worth R2,000. Officers issued arrest warrants for various trio crimes and contraventions of the trafficking act.
On September 4, several suspects were arrested at Florida Lake during stop-and-search operations conducted by the Crime Prevention Wardens.
Picture: X / SAPoliceService
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