Two suspects were expected to appear in court following their arrest in Johannesburg, after police found them in possession of drugs with an estimated street value of R4 million. Picture: Supplied/SAPS

Pretoria – Two suspects, aged 35 and 44, were expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday following their arrest in Johannesburg, after police found them in possession of drugs with an estimated street value of R4 million.

Gauteng police spokesperson, Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said moments after the initial arrest, a third suspect aged 45 was arrested for bribery after offering the arresting police officers an amount of R10 000 in exchange for the release of the two detained suspects. 

“Police officers from Sophiatown were conducting stop-and-search operations in Westdene when they noticed a vehicle, a white Citroen C4 with two occupants. The members stopped the vehicle and while searching, found drugs in the car and immediately arrested both suspects for possession of and dealing in drugs,” said Peters.

She said after arresting the pair, a man arrived at the scene and offered the police officers R10 000 for the release of the duo. He was subsequently arrested for bribery.

Meanwhile, Peters said 21 other suspects were also arrested for drug-related cases over the past long weekend during “intelligence-led safer festive season operations” aimed at curbing the proliferation of drugs on the streets of Gauteng.

“In Ekurhuleni, police operationalised information about a man suspected of dealing in drugs in Eden Park. On searching the property, members from the [South African Police Services] SAPS together with other law enforcement agencies found different kinds of drugs and illicit substances. A middle-aged suspect found on the premises was arrested. Still, in Ekurhuleni, police raided a house in Etwatwa and arrested a 36-year-old man after he was found with packets of drugs,” said Peters.

“In Johannesburg, members of the SAPS and Johannesburg Metro Police Department jointly visited various places and an operation in Alexandra saw police bust a 47-year-old man found in possession of a huge quantity of dagga. This arrest in Alexandra was the fourth similar arrest after three suspects were arrested during raids on Sunday morning when the intelligence-led operations on drugs commenced.”

She said additional successes were also recorded from parallel operations conducted in Brixton, Florida, Hillbrow and Soweto and in Pretoria’s Eesterus, where more suspects were arrested for possession of and dealing in drugs.

“These intelligence-driven operations will continue throughout and beyond the safer festive season period, as police strife to remove drugs off the streets and from within the reach of the youth who remain prone to the scourge. Police also believe that other serious and violent crime over the festive season emanates from drug and substance abuse,” said Peters.

Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela on Wednesday commended the continued collaboration and sharing of valuable information between the police and the community of Gauteng, towards exposing and arresting drug dealers.

"One of the most practical ways to triumph over and turn the tide against crime is through partnerships with our communities," the Provincial Commissioner emphasized. "Let me also salute those members from Sophiatown who displayed desirable conduct when they refused a bribe and rather arrested the suspect on Tuesday afternoon," said Mawela.

African News Agency (ANA)