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Illegal Mining Syndicate: Six Kingpins Arrested in Major Operation



illegal mining syndicate

The Hawks apprehended several alleged kingpins in a significant crackdown on an illegal mining syndicate on the far West Rand. The Pretoria Asset Forfeiture Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Hawks Priority Crimes Specialised Investigation and Serious Organised Crime Investigation Units have successfully obtained preservation orders worth R16 million in the case of these alleged illegal mining kingpins.

According to a statement issued by NPA regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana and Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DCPI) Colonel Katlego Mogale, these preservation orders were granted under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1988 at the Pretoria High Court. The orders aim to preserve various properties owned by the accused, which the Hawks believe to be the proceeds of unlawful activities of a syndicate involved in illicit gold trading in Khutsong, Carletonville, on the far West Rand. A preservation order issued by a court makes it illegal to dispose of or alter property.

An investigation conducted by the DPCI resulted in the arrest of the accused, suspected of being key figures in illegal mining. The charged include Dumisani Moyo, Bethuel Ngobeni, Nhlanhla Leon Magwaca, Thabiso Sechele, and Moseki Sechele.

Also read: Illegal Mining Causes Germiston Power Outage: City Plunged into Darkness

These six suspects collectively face seven counts related to the unlawful dealing of precious metals and three counts of fraud and money laundering. Also, four accused face charges of residing in the country without legal documentation. It is alleged that the group operated an illegal scheme in which they collected precious metals from abandoned and disused mines, processed them, and subsequently sold them. The Hawks further suspect that they used falsified identities to purchase properties with the proceeds from the metal sales.


The preservation orders pertain to various properties owned by individuals, including Bethuel Ngobeni, Lerato Bathebeng, Poppy Mathongwane, Bongani Khumalo, Dumisani Moyo, Nhlanhla Leon Magwaca, Neo Susan Duba, Tsepo Dube, Itumeleng Rejoice Magagane, Gloria Kgalalelo Magagane, Mlambo, Nhlanhla Mathebula, Manuel Nhamucho, and Thabiso Sechele. These orders, obtained on three separate occasions, cover 51 vehicles and seven properties in Khutsong and Carletonville.

“All of the six accused are remanded in custody, however, Moyo was granted bail after he appealed at the high court. Some of the properties belong to four of the accused. The case is set to appear in court on September 7,” the statement reads. The properties in question are in various areas, including Potchefstroom, Khutsong Ext 2, Krugersdorp’s Homes Haven, Oberholzer, two Carletonville properties, and a construction company. The vehicles subject to preservation orders include various makes and models, such as Volkswagens, Toyotas, Audis, Mazdas, Fords, Nissans, BMWs, Land Rovers, and Hyundais.

Source: Illegal mining syndicate sees six kingpins arrested

Also read:

Over 250 Pieces of Illegal Mining Equipment Obliterated


Picture: X / SAPoliceService

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