Three policemen have been arrested in Sunnyside with drugs with a street value of almost a million during a crime intelligence operation.

The policemen, who are all constables, are alleged to be part of a drug syndicate which operates out of OR Tambo International Airport.

Sources close to the investigation have told the Pretoria News that the syndicate is allegedly involved in the theft of narcotics seized during anti-crime operations at the airport.

It is believed that once confiscated, the drugs are then sold to a drug cartel which is involved in the sale of massive amounts of illegal narcotics in Pretoria.

The policemen, who live in Soshanguve, Hammanskraal and Thembisa, were arrested while allegedly selling stolen drugs to undercover operatives from the national crime intelligence's covert collection directorate and the national organised crime unit.

Crime intelligence spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Tummi Golding, confirmed the arrests.

She said intelligence agents were conducting routine operations when they received information about the three policemen who were travelling to Sunnyside with a consignment of narcotics.

"Police officers began following up on the information and spotted the men on the highway. They followed them to Sunnyside, contacting the organised crime unit for support. When they reached Sunnyside, they set up a sting operation and arrested the men when they tried to sell the drugs to undercover operatives," she said.

Golding said a search of the suspects' car, which is believed to have been stolen earlier in the month, led to the discovery of drugs with a street value of R800 000.

"Among the stolen goods was 20kg ephedrine, which is used in the manufacturing of potentially lethal drugs such as speed and Tik.

"Police also seized dozens of boxes of razors and antibiotics which had been seized during earlier raids at the airport .

"The boxes had been used to smuggle drugs into South Africa," she said.

Golding confirmed that the policemen were believed to be involved in the theft and sale of drugs to a narcotics syndicates operating in Pretoria. She said the investigation was looking into allegations that the policemen stole narcotics from the SAPS airport offices after they were seized during anti-crime operations.

Golding said when police raided the suspects' homes they seized even more boxes of razors and antibiotics.

"They were the same boxes which were used to smuggle narcotics into South Africa."

The men are due to appear in court soon on charges of dealing in narcotics and theft.