The Hawks have arrested 11 suspects for suspected involvement in a platinum syndicate.
The valuable metal is used in everything from catalytic converters for vehicles‚ laboratory equipment and jewellery.
The suspects aged between 23 and 56 were arrested during an operation in Rustenburg and Johannesburg yesterday‚ for illegal dealing and theft of unwrought platinum‚ Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso from the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) said on Friday.
The intelligence driven operation aimed at addressing the illegal dealing of unwrought platinum in North West and Gauteng provinces was conducted by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit.
The syndicate is alleged to have been operating since 2014.
It is alleged that the unwrought platinum was stolen from the mines in the North West and then sold to the suppliers who in turn supply to the dealers in Gauteng.
Rikhotso said the operation resulted in the seizure of unwrought platinum worth approximately R500‚000‚ six vehicles and smelting equipment.
All suspects are expected to appear in court today at the Tlhabane and Johannesburg Magistrate’s Courts to face charges related to illegal dealing in precious metals.