Crime Reporter 

Over 27 200 illegal panners have so far been arrested countrywide this year as police continue to strengthen security in all mining areas. 

Some of them were fined while others have cases pending before the courts. 

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said on March 27, they arrested 136 people during the ongoing operation, “Chikorokoza Ngachipere/Isitsheketsha Kasiphele and No to Machete Gangs”. 

“Since the onset of the operation, a cumulative 27 220 people have been arrested. 

The ZRP encourages members of the public to adhere to all mining laws to promote safety and security in mining areas,” he said. 

Asst Comm Nyathi said the operation was continuing until there was sanity countrywide. 

This year, touts, unscrupulous fuel dealers, motorists with unregistered vehicles and those found with dangerous weapons, have also been arrested under various police operations. 

Police recently said they would intensify operations to rid the country of malcontents. 

In September last year, gangs armed with machetes and knobkerries resurfaced countrywide, targeting mines and individuals keeping large amounts of cash, prompting police to relaunch “Operation Chikorokoza Ngachipere”

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