R1.7m diamond smuggler nabbed in SA

A 35-year-old Zimbabwean man was arrested in South Africa for possessing 123 carats of diamonds worth R1.7 million.

According to the South African Police Services, the Hawks nabbed the Zimbabwean, Hardlife Bhebhura (35), and another man, Rodrigues Jose Jorge (49), in Springbok.

They had just transacted with an undercover agent.

SAPS investigation uncovered the alleged illegal enterprise operating through runners from Springbok, Port Nolloth and Steinkopf.

“Upon their arrest on Sunday, 22 January 2017, about 123 carats worth more than 1.7 million rand were recovered. Both suspects were each charged with three counts of dealing and possession of uncut diamond and more arrests are imminent,” SAPS said.

The suspects on Monday appeared before the Springbok Magistrates Court and were remanded to February 1.

Rodrigues Jose Jorge was granted R25 000 bail but Bhebhura was remanded in custody.

Zimbabwe is losing revenue through nefarious activities like the smuggling of its precious minerals through the porous borders.

The smuggled minerals include gold. Home Affairs Deputy Minister Obedingwa Mguni is on record stressing the need to tighten security at the country’s borders. The Chronicle