Eleven suspects, including nine Zimbabweans, have been arrested and R5 million worth of mining chrome was recovered during a search and seize operation in Witbank on Thursday, 28 April.
According to the South African Police Service (SAPS), the suspects also include a female and 8 males who are from Zimbabwe, while two other males are from Mozambique. Brigadier Selvy Mohlala wrote in a statement:
The investigation has so far revealed that the woman, believed to be the kingpin was in possession of a South African Identity Document whereas the rest did not have legal documents to be in the country.
Police then arrested them on the premises whilst they were reportedly busy loading chrome into a truck.
They are also suspected to have stolen and smuggled chrome from trains between Ferro Metals Witbank and Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal, and the chrome was reportedly transported in trucks to Gauteng where it was then sold to certain individuals.
They are facing charges which include the illegal possession of mining chrome.
Selvy added that the police are working in partnership with the Department of Home Affairs to determine the status of the woman and also to find out how she got hold of the Identity Document.
The remaining members of the gang are charged with contravention of the Immigration Act of South Africa.