The suspected illegal mining kingpin, Cheng Liang Tom (48) appeared in the Northam Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, 23 February 2023. This is in connection with illegal mining activities in Northam area, Limpopo.
It follows his arrest by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation members in Northam on Wednesday, 22 February.
ILLEGAL MINING KINGPIN ARRESTED
On 3 August 2022, members of the Hawks arrested four suspected illegal miners. They were found in possession of chrome that was loaded in a truck without permit. The chrome was valued at R1.2 million.
CHENG LIANG TOM REMAINS IN CUSTODY
A thorough investigation was conducted and it was revealed that the chrome was destined for China where Tom was a buyer.
A warrant of arrest against Tom who is a Chinese national was authorized and successfully executed. The accused was remanded in custody until 3 March for formal bail application.