…By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.
On May 16, 2023, Gauteng police made a significant arrest and discovered a fully operational gold refinery laboratory in Zuurbekom, Westonaria.
A 22-year-old suspect, identified as a foreign national without proper documentation, was taken into custody.
The police spokesperson, Colonel Philani Nkwalase, revealed that the building contained gold-bearing material valued at approximately R3 million, along with two generators, nearly 200 kg of loaded carbon, and a cell phone.
Discovery of Illegal Gold Refinery:
During the operation, law enforcement officers found a fully operational gold refinery laboratory in Zuurbekom.
The discovery included valuable gold-bearing material, generators, loaded carbon, and a cell phone.
The estimated value of the seized materials amounted to R3 million.
Arrest of a Foreign National:
The suspect arrested in connection with the illegal gold refinery was a foreign national who did not possess the necessary documentation.
Law enforcement officers took him into custody, and all the exhibits found at the scene were confiscated for further investigation.
Charges and Court Appearance:
The suspect is set to appear in the Westonaria Magistrates Court on May 18, 2023.
He will face charges related to contravention of the Precious Metals Act 37 of 2005 and operating an illegal gold refinery.
Additionally, he may face an additional charge for violating the Immigration Act 13 of 2002.
Commendation for the Combined Team:
Major General Ebrahim Kadwa, the Hawks Provincial Head in Gauteng, praised the team’s efforts in apprehending the suspect and uncovering the illegal gold refinery.
He emphasized that the suspect was likely not acting alone and assured that no efforts would be spared in the investigation.
The arrest of a foreign national without proper documentation, along with the discovery of a fully operational gold refinery laboratory, marks a significant achievement for the Gauteng police.
The suspect will face charges related to illegal gold refining and potential immigration violations.
The authorities commend the combined team for their diligent work and vow to thoroughly investigate the matter.