Drug cartels in KwaZulu-Natal have been dealt a major blow with the seizure of millions of rand worth of illegal substances by police and the Hawks.
On Saturday, the Provincial Drug Unit pounced on a drug den in Newlands West where they found 50 bags of dry dagga with the street value of more than R400 000. Police spokeswoman Captain Nqobile Gwala said a sum of R54 000 - suspected to be proceeds of the drug trade- was also recovered.
“Three suspects aged between 25 and 49 were arrested and charged for dealing in drugs. The preliminary investigation revealed that the suspects transported dagga from Swaziland using their bakkie that was found at the scene,” said Gwala. The suspects will appear in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Monday.
Another cross border drug operation was thwarted recently when the Richards Bay Hawks, with the Crime Intelligence Unit and police, arrested a 50-year-old man for alleged drug trafficking at Golela border post into Swaziland.
“Members received information about a truck which was smuggling drugs from Mozambique via Swaziland coming to South Africa. An intelligence driven operation was initiated and the truck was intercepted,” said Hawks spokesman Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo.
The search uncovered almost 200kg of heroin powder hidden in the back of the truck. “The value is yet to be determined but is expected to run into millions of rand.”
There was another multi-million rand drug find by the Port Shepstone Hawks, assisted by National Intervention Unit on the same day.
This was the culmination of a two-year undercover operation targeting six dagga laboratories and the farms of seven people believed to be part of a syndicate supplying KZN and Gauteng.
Aged between 27 and 39, the gang was was found with almost 4 400 bags of dagga valued at about R26m in their homes and farms in Port Shepstone, Hibberdene and Margate.
Mhlongo said members of the Durban South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau also helped bring down a 52-year-old man in Gauteng after receiving information that he was distributing drugs from Gauteng to various provinces including KZN.
“He was found in possession of 26 000 mandrax tablets to the street value of approximately R 1.36m,” Mhlongo.
Acting provincial police commissioner Major General Bheki Langa commended those involved in the busts.
On Thursday three alleged drug “kingpins” were arrested in Phoenix at a home fronting as a a beauty parlour. According to The Mercury’s sister newspaper Independent on Saturday, a man, his wife and his brother were arrested for drug dealing and a 19-year-old woman arrested the following day.