Gold squad was worth its weight

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS -

re­quir­ing bul­lion de­posited, to be pre­served un­al­tered for seven days;

5) All bat­tery and treat­ment plants whether si­t­u­ated on min­ing ten­e­ments or not, and whether crush­ing or treat­ing ore or other gold-bear­ing ma­te­rial for the public or not, should be li­censed and open to in­spec­tion at any mo­ment by po­lice and the Mines Depart­ment;

6) Own­ers and man­agers should, un­der penal­ties, be com­pelled to keep books and records show­ing;

i) the ori­gin of each par­cel of ma­te­rial crushed or treated;

ii) the con­sid­er­a­tion given for each par­cel;

iii) names and ad­dresses of per­sons who bought the stuff and of all in­ter­ested in its treat­ment;

iv) the re­sult of crush­ing and treat­ment;

v) how the bul­lion was main­tained and dis­posed of;

vi) what quan­tity and de­scrip­tion of residues, re­sults, and how the same is dis­posed of with pre­cise dates in each case.

Mr Barker said the law pro­hibit­ing deal­ing in gold by un­li­censed per­sons should be tight­ened up and penal­ties in­creased for deal­ing with il­licit gold.

“I am sat­is­fied con­sid­er­able num­bers of pro­fes­sional re­ceivers of stolen gold carry on busi­ness in Kal­go­or­lie and Boul­der in an open and sys­tem­atic man­ner, han­dling in the ag­gre­gate such quan­tity of il­lic­itly ac­quired bul­lion and con­cen­trates as to jus­tify the use of the word enor­mous,” he wrote.

“The East Cool­gar­die field alone pro­duces 50 per cent of the to­tal gold yield from the State.

“This be­ing so, the fol­low­ing ques­tions at once sug­gest them­selves: “Who are the thieves? “From whom and from what places do they steal?

“How do they man­age to get away with their booty?

“These ques­tions are sec­ond only in im­por­tance to the fun­da­men­tal one, is steal­ing of gold and gold­bear­ing ma­te­rial preva­lent?

“I re­gret to have to re­port that in re­gard to them the ev­i­dence is in­con­clu­sive and in­suf­fi­cient to sup­port a def­i­nite find­ing.”

As a di­rect re­sult of Det. Sgt Ka­vanagh’s re­port and the royal com­mis­sion, the po­lice depart­ment formed a gold steal­ing squad of de­tec­tives.

Set up in late 1907 and funded by the Cham­ber of Mines, its pur­pose was to in­ves­ti­gate crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity at all stages of gold pro­duc­tion process in WA.

Sadly, Det. Sgt Ka­vanagh died soon af­ter in Mel­bourne, in March 1908.

Pic­ture: Louise White

Mem­bers of the Gold steal­ing de­tec­tive unit in the 1920s.

Pic­ture: Sharon Guardia

Pis­tol of slain GSDU De­tec­tive John Walsh.

Pic­ture: Mary Meagher

Bar­rick Gold di­rec­tor of oper­a­tions Nick Cer­notta and De­tec­tive Se­nior Sergeant Dom Black­shaw with a stolen nugget re­cov­ered by the gold squad in 2009.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.