Northern Cape – The Hawks intelligence driven investigation project, that started in 2012 yielded desired result in ensuring that illegal diamond dealers are detained and their operations are completely halted.

Hardlife Bhebhura (35),a Zimbabwean citizen and Rodrigues Lima Jose Jorge (49) were arrested in Springbok as the kingpins of these illegal operations after they had transacted with an undercover agent.

Covert led investigation uncovered the alleged illegal enterprise operating through runners from Springbok, Port Nolloth and Steinkopf. The illegally acquired diamonds would eventually be exported out of the country.

Upon their arrest on Sunday, 22 January 2017, about 123 Diamonds (-90.43 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.

The suspects before the Springbok Magistrates Court on Monday, 23 January 2017 and the case was postponed to1 February 2017. Rodrigues Lima was released on R25 000 bail while Hardlife Bhebhura was remanded in custody and his bail application will be heard on 1 February 2017.