Police in Kaoma district of Western province yesterday fought running battles with suspected copper thieves commonly known as jerabos.
Both Police Officer-in-Charge Rodgers Chiwila and District Commissioner Joster Manjolo confirmed the development to ZANIS.
The incidence happened around 07:30 hours yesterday.
Mr Manjolo said police managed to intercept a Volvo truck registration number ALC 1951 laden with about 15 to 25 tonnes of high grade copper.
He said the truck was intercepted by police on its way to Mumbwa district from Kalumwange area between Kaoma and Mufumbwe districts.
Mr Manjolo identified the illegal suspected copper thieves as Ibrahim Abba 35, and the driver Fezar Abba 27, both of low density area house number 145 in Chief Liteta’s area in Mumbwa district.
Others are Ernest Moseni Ngoza 40, of Lusaka west and Samuel Chasia 38, of Kanyama compound in Lusaka.
He said the four illegal copper dealers are in Kaoma police custody and will appear in court soon and have since been charged with being found in possession of property believed to be unlawfully acquired.
The District Commissioner said the dealers did not possess proper documentation that allowed them to transport copper as other papers such as police clearance, delivery notes, mineral rights and weigh bridge papers among other documents required were missing.
Mr Manjolo said the Patriotic Front government has created an enabling environment for the local investors to deal in mining activities in order to create more jobs for the locals but that proper channels should be followed.
He said the PF government is strongly against corrupt activities in the country and those who intend to perpetuate illegal activities would find it hard as police is keeping vigil on all illegal activities.
And Police Officer in Charge, Rodgers Chiwila said police will not tolerate lawless to prevail in Kaoma district and vowed that illegal copper dealers fearing to use the Copperbelt route and think that Kaoma route is porous will find it difficult to penetrate.