An intelligence-driven operation involving members of the Hawks and Crime Intelligence has led to the swift arrest of three suspects for dealing in precious metal yesterday, Thursday 26 February, 2015.

The Investigators received information of an alleged illegal gold transaction to be concluded at a security complex in Brakpan. A 36 years old suspect was caught processing gold. A further follow-up investigation led to the arrest of two Zimbabwean nationals, also aged 36, in Morningside Johannesburg.

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Members seized unprocessed precious metals to wit gold worth more than R 4 million and two luxury vehicles. Further investigations are on-going to determine if the three suspects were part of a bigger syndicate dealing in precious metals.

The Hawks Acting Head, Major General Mthandazo Ntlemeza said this operation should send a strong warning message to syndicate leaders in the gold smuggling trade, that they were being closely monitored and we will soon also arrest them.

“We will not allow criminals to go unchallenged. We are indeed winning the fight against crime,” he said.  Ntlemeza thanked all members involved in the raid, including members from crime intelligence for the groundwork they did. The importance of such operations, Ntlemeza said, will serve as a deterrent to crime. “Anyone wanting to do the same thing tomorrow will now think twice.” The three suspects would appear in the Brakpan Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 2 March, 2015.

Louren Louw, 36, was released on bail of R20 000, NPA spokesperson Velekhaya Mgobhozi said.

Zimbabweans Elvis Tsunda and Webster Vambe, both 36, were granted bail of R50 000 each. The matter was postponed to 9 June for further investigations.