The North West was like a Wild West movie with police officers engaged in a shootout in the night with illegal miners in the Orkney area.
After the deadly gunfire on Tuesday night, six bodies lay still and eight others were nursing their wounds.
All in all 87 suspected illegal miners aged between 25 and 49 surrendered and were arrested.
The operation involved a multidisciplinary police team comprising the police, Hawks, Task Force, National Intervention Unit, District Crime Combating Unit, NW Airwing, and the Explosives Unit.
Bidvest Protea Coin Security and the Local Criminal Record Centre were also involved.
Acting on information, the multidisciplinary team descended upon the identified shaft where they were met with gunfire.
The team returned fire wherein six illegal miners were fatally shot and eight others injured.
Only one member of the team was wounded. All the wounded were taken to hospital.
The team seized two mini-busses, Illegal mining paraphernalia, gold bearing material, eleven Illegal firearms (3 x shotguns, 3 x rifles, 4 x pistols and 1 x revolver) and bags of food.
The suspects will appear in the Orkney Magistrates court on Monday, 25 October 2021.
They will face charges of attempted murder, illegal possession of gold, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, illegal possession of prohibited firearms, theft and conspiracy to commit an offense.