Hawks bust makeshift cannabis lab in Mitchells Plain
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Cape Town - The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) busted a clandestine hydroponic cannabis laboratory in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town.
Provincial Hawks spokesperson Zinzi Hani said in a statement that its National Intervention Unit arrested a 45-year-old suspect on Wednesday in Sayed Abdul Mutahliep Road in Rocklands.
Hani said the team followed up on information received just before 1pm about the laboratory at the house in the area.
They searched the premises and discovered a fully fledged makeshift laboratory with cannabis plants housed in a ventilated tent with lights.
“Paraphernalia which included powder, syringes, glass bottles containing cannabidiol (CBD) oil as well as capsules with an estimated street value of R80 000 were seized for further investigation,” Hani said.
She said the case has since been handed over to the Hawks’ South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau for further investigation.
The suspect has been detained and will be appearing at the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court on Friday, June 4, to face a charge of dealing in drugs.
In a separate incident, Chinese national Bill Ho, 52, also known as Wong, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to multiple charges linking him to operating a clandestine abalone facility.
Hani said Ho was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment on two counts of contravening the Marine Living Resources Act 18 of 1998.
He also received a five-year sentence for contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA).
Both sentences were wholly suspended for five years, with stringent conditions.
Ho was further placed under two-year correctional supervision in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act.
Additionally, the court ordered Ho to pay R32 980 into the Criminal Asset Recovery Account (CARA). All abalone and equipment seized during the search-and-seizure operation have been forfeited to the state.
Hani said three vehicles owned by Ho were seized and signed off and authorities were awaiting the forfeiture order from the Western Cape High Court.
African News Agency (ANA)