Pretoria – Six suspects have been arrested after they allegedly broke into a safe and stole three diamonds at a diamond mine in Prieska, Northern Cape, in the early hours of Monday morning.

It has been alleged that the driver of a mining dump truck was on his routine trips to offload loads when robbers approached him and one of them pointed a firearm at him.

The driver was allegedly assaulted and forced out of the truck which was then taken over by one of the robbers after they had tied the driver’s hands and feet with a rope. During the ordeal, the manager of the mine arrived in a company vehicle and he met the same fate as the truck driver.

The robbers, who were now in control of two mining vehicles, drove back to the mine and, on arrival, they found a driver of a front loader on duty. Without any negotiations, the truck crashed into the front loader, forcing the driver of the front loader to drive away, but he could not drive faster than the suspects who were on a mission.

The suspects caught up with him on the mine’s premises. One of them fired a shot at the front loader’s battery and then aimed the firearm at the driver’s head, but his shot missed the target.

The robbers broke every machine on sight and, in the end, found a black safe, which they blasted open. They took three diamonds, of which the value has not yet been established.

The search for the diamonds and other suspects continue with further arrests being imminent. The arrested suspects, aged between 27 and 50, will appear in court soon.