Con­doms used to smug­gle gold

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS -

IL­LE­GAL min­ers in South Africa are swal­low­ing un­re­fined gold and plat­inum in con­doms as a new tac­tic to avoid ar­rest for smug­gling that costs the in­dus­try $1.5-bil­lion (R20-bil­lion) a year, po­lice told par­lia­ment yes­ter­day.

Il­le­gal min­ing has plagued South Africa’s min­ing sec­tor for decades, and ex­tends from small­time pil­fer­ing to global or­gan­ised crime net­works.

The crime costs the in­dus­try and gov­ern­ment the es­ti­mated R20-bil­lion a year in lost sales, taxes and roy­al­ties.

“They are in­gest­ing the amal­gam con­cealed in con­doms and this is done for two prin­ci­pal rea­sons. One is to be able to by­pass mine se­cu­rity and the other is also to pre­vent be­ing robbed by op­pos­ing groups,” Brigadier Ebrahim Kadwa of the Hawks said, show­ing par­lia­ment slides of gold-filled con­doms in min­ers’ X-rays.

Il­le­gal min­ing in South Africa in­volves a com­plex crim­i­nal web that ex­tends from des­per­ate un­em­ployed work­ers, many from neigh­bour­ing coun­tries, to gun-tot­ing gang bosses and front com­pa­nies ex­port­ing re­fined prod­ucts to global mar­kets. – Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.