VIRGINIA, February 17 – South African Police Service (SAPS) crime prevention officers in Meloding near Virginia “reclaimed the space from four men during Operation Fiela II Reclaim” when they arrested them for unlawful possession of gold on Friday afternoon, Free State police said.
The officers, Sergeant Mothibeli Phakane and constables Lerotholi Mololo and Kamohelo Sejentu, were on patrol when they received information about a car with four occupants dealing in gold, Captain Malebo Khosana said.
The information paid off when they noticed a green Toyota Yaris with Free State registration plates fitting the description in their information at the circle on the entrance to Meloding.
The car was stopped and searched. A cloth-wrapped package found underneath the driver’s seat was found to contain three gold nuggets. The driver of the car and his three passengers were arrested in connection with the gold.
Two were Lesotho nationals and two South Africans. One of the Lesotho nationals had no legal documentation to be in South Africa and would therefore face an additional charge of being an illegal immigrant. The three nuggets and the Toyota Yaris were confiscated. The four suspects, aged 24, 26, 29, and 32, would appear in the Virginia Magistrate’s Court soon, Khosana said.
Thabong policing cluster commander Maj-Gen Apaphia Modise commended the members for their good work. “This arrest with community information is an indication that our members and community members will not tolerate any illegal mining activity in our communities,” Modise said.
– African News Agency (ANA)