Durban - Hawks officers are investigating the involvement of a Durban businessman in a suspected drug laboratory found in the Highway area.
The businessman, Duncan Naidoo, has been named twice in bail applications for the men arrested in connection with alleged drug laboratories operating in Everton Road, Kloof and Riverview Drive, Crestholme.
Approached for comment, Naidoo’s attorney, Shashi Marajh, said: “We made contact with the police and prosecuting authority as far back as July 2 and invited them to contact us and, in the event of them requiring our client’s attendance, to make arrangements with us.”
Marajh said no arrangements had been made to date.
The police say the Kloof and Crestholme drug operations were run by the same syndicate and were used to make methaqualone, the ingredient in mandrax tablets.
On Tuesday Denver Joseph, Gonasagren Mooroogasen, Norman Reyneud and Jerrico Chetty, who are charged in connection with the Crestholme operation, applied for bail in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court.
Advocate Shane Matthews, acting for Mooroogasen and Chetty, asked investigating officer, Warrant Officer Luke Tancrel, why Naidoo had not been arrested.
Naidoo had been named by Junaid Rasool, an accused in the Kloof operation, as the man who had asked him to buy the Everton Road property in his name for R3.8 million.
“He used Rasool as a front to buy the property which now you allege was a drug laboratory. Is there not some suspicion?” asked Matthews.
Matthews also handed the court a loan agreement for more than R2m which he claimed Chetty had loaned to Naidoo, some of which was used to buy the Kloof property.
“The name that came up with the sale of the property was Bradley Pillay. We are investigating whether this is an alias for Naidoo,” Tancrel said.
He testified that Joseph and Reyneud were found on the property dismantling an industrial mixer during the police raid.
Chetty and Mooroogasen were arrested in a bakkie on a road near the Crestholme house.
Tancrel said he was opposed to bail as the men could destroy evidence if they were released.
He also said he had information that a large quantity of chemicals had been removed from the premises in two bakkies before the raid.
The men deny any involvement in the crimes.
Advocate Quim de Freitas, acting for Joseph and Reyneud, said Joseph was a legitimate businessman and had been hired to fit aluminium doors and windows at the property and Reyneud worked for him.
The case was adjourned to later this week for a bail ruling.