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Four men were arrested for operating an illegal gold refinery in Welkom, police said on Thursday.
Sergeant Thabo Litabe said four men, aged between 30 and 60 years old, were arrested by the Hawks in Welkom and charged with possession of unwrought precious metal without a permit.
Litabe said the Hawks with Harmony Mine and a private security company followed up information and searched buildings in the industrial area in Welkom on Wednesday.
Police found the four men operating in an old unused building that was equipped with machinery used to refine gold.
The operation also used illegal electricity and water connections from neighbouring industries.
The police seized a gold refinery machine, suspected gold concentrate, gold processing implements and chemicals.
The men will appear in the Welkom Magistrate’s Court soon. - Sapa