Big drug bust in Bryanston. Photo Antoine de Ras, 25/07/2012

Shocked neighbours have described the suspects arrested in a R100 million drug bust in northern Joburg homes as “decent” and “polite”.

Police said on Wednesday they had smashed a multimillion-rand drug manufacturing operation in Bryanston and Douglasdale on Wednesday morning.

Five people, including two brothers, who are originally from Soweto, were arrested during raids by the Crime Intelligence Unit, said police spokesman Colonel Vish Naidoo.

Police were investigating a third Joburg home linked with the suspects, but declined to specify where it was or what part it might have played in the manufacturing or distribution of the drugs.

All the suspects are expected to face charges of drug dealing and possibly the manufacturing of drugs.

First, a husband and wife were arrested at their home on Mount Street in Bryanston in possession of chemicals and powder worth about R50m. The chemicals and powder are believed to be the ingredients for Mandrax.

Wednesday’s raid led police to another house where the husband’s brother lives. The husband is also the owner of the Douglasdale house on Galloway Avenue, said Naidoo.

Police later discovered another R50m worth of drugs, powder and drug-manufacturing equipment there and arrested three more suspects, including the second of the brothers, his wife and their domestic worker.

The Star has been made to understand the five suspects are aged between 29 and 36.

“They were very nice, polite, decent and quiet people,” said some of the neighbours of the Douglasdale suspects.

“The only thing we were suspicious about was how they afforded their cars,” said a neighbour who had seen Mercedes-Benzes and Ferraris outside the house on several occasions.

A neighbour, who also asked not to be named, said they had also met the first of the brothers, who they said was “pleasant”.

One of the neighbours told the New Age newspaper: “They (the couple) just had a baby less than six months ago and their six-year-old daughter is a friend of our daughters. I am actually surprised by all of this because there was nothing out of the ordinary. Everything seemed fine and normal.”

 

Crime intelligence had investigated the house for months and believed they were part of a syndicate, said acting deputy commissioner for crime intelligence Chris Ngcobo.

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The Star, IOL