National Police have announced they seized 1,655 diamond stones as well as AKz 1.9 million and USD 28, 751 in cash in northern Malanje province.
The seizure is the result of a crackdown dubbed “Operação Transparência” underway since 25 September this year.
Speaking at the press conference, the operation’s spokesman, Commissioner António José Bernardo, mentioned 20 vehicles of different brands and seven motorbikes as having been seized.
The police also retrieved several means used in illegal diamond mining, with stress to nine dredgers, 17 containers containing various means, 23 motor pumps and 13 safes.
According to José Bernardo, the seized means include 12 shovels and an equal number of scales, 18 diving suits, 16 lifejackets, seven generators, among other goods.
The operation led to the closure of two diamond cooperatives in the municipalities of Cahombo and Quela.
As result, 175 illegal foreign nationals were arrested – 167 from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), two from Sierra Leone, while Libya, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Conakry, Mauritania and South Africa, with one citizen each.
The operation which covers provinces of Uige, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Cuanza Sul, Bié, Moxico and Cuando Cubango, is aimed at combating illegal immigration, illegal exploration and trafficking of diamonds in the country.
The phased Operação Transparência will cover other country’s provinces until 2020.