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Limpopo cops seize truck, illegally mined chrome worth R2m and arrest three people

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Three suspected illegal chrome miners have been arrested in Limpopo after they were caught loading chrome worth R2 million onto a truck.

They were arrested during a multidisciplinary operation in Ga-Maroga village in Driekop, which is situated outside Burgersfort, police spokesperson, Captain Matimba Maluleke said.

“The team received intelligence about ongoing illegal mining activities in the area and swiftly conducted a sting operation. When the team pounced on the suspects, they were allegedly…loading chrome that was illegally mined, onto the truck,” Maluleke said.

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Officers also seized a truck loaded with chrome, as well as a firearm and ammunition.

The three accused, Charles Maroga, 35; Simphiwe Shabangu, 37; and Steven Mgadula, 57, appeared in the Mecklenburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The case was postponed to Thursday.

Watch | Trucks with cloned plates caught trying to steal chrome from Mooinooi mine

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Limpopo Hawks head, Major General Gopz Govender, said:

It is high time that those who are involved in illegal mining activities refrain from such because their days are numbered, and we will use every resource at our disposal to fight this scourge.

The arrests follow the appearance of an alleged “illegal mining kingpin” in the Northam Magistrate’s Court in Limpopo last week.

According to Maluleke, 48-year-old Cheng Liang Tom appeared in court on Thursday in connection with illegal mining activities in Northam. The Hawks arrested him on Tuesday.

His arrest was linked to an investigation into a R1.2-million chrome bust last year.

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He is being held in custody until Friday when he will be able to apply for bail.

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