Free State police have caught 13 illegal immigrants busy wrapping food parcels for illegal miners in Welkom.
Members of the Welkom POP Unit led by Warrant Officer Thabo Booy arrested 13 illegal immigrants while busy wrapping food parcels for illegal miners as known as Zama-Zamas, after following a tip-off yesterday, in Thabong. On arrival police found 13 males busy wrapping boxes containing biscuits.
“They could not provide an explanation about ownership of the items as well as the shack. They were then arrested for unlawful and intention to conspire with another to commit an offence as it is believed that the items were destined to the zama zamas who are plying their illegal mining at the mines,” says police spokesperson Malebo Khosana.
According to him, all 13 men could not produce any form of identity document and indicated that they all come from Zimbabwe. He says another charge of being illegal immigrants will be added.
Other items that were confiscated by police include gumboots, boxes of masking tapes, rolls of air bubble wrapping plastic, plain wrapping plastics, back packs and 12 cell phones. All items are estimated to cost between R200 000 and R400 000.
The 13 suspects will appear at the Welkom Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
Thabong Station Commander Brigadier Nikiwe Hoaeane lauded the members for their good performance. “We also thank the community members for giving us valuable information that assist us in fighting crime,” concluded Hoaeane.