Chinese illegal miners plead guilty

Kabelo Dipholo
GUILTY: The Xiong brothers entered a guilty plea

Two Chinese nationals, Haiyan Xiong (49) and Goushen Xiong (42), among the five suspects arrested for illegal mining and prospecting without a license, have pleaded guilty to the charges.

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The Chines quartet, who include Qingxion Zhou (45), Kaijin Zhou (42), and a Motswana man- 20-year-old Vezera Willy from Rakops, was apprehended on October 23rd by security agents near Sechele village.

They were found in possession of raw precious metals suspected to be gold, leading to charges of unlawful possession.

Before Senior Magistrate Segametsi Basinyi of Masunga Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning, the Zhou brothers, who operate Javeria Garments, and Willy pleaded not guilty to charges of possession and prospecting without a license.

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The Xiong brothers, lacking assets and residence permits, were granted a P10,000 bail and required to surrender their travel documents and cellphones, providing two sureties.

The Zhou brothers were released on a P6,000 bail, with all four individuals restricted to a 20km radius of Gaborone in all directions.

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Additionally, they were prohibited from traveling to or being in the vicinity of Kalakamati and Sechele villages while the matter is before the court.

The case is scheduled to return for the presentation of facts on November 24th.

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