Picture: SAPS

Johannesburg -  Seven suspects are expected to appear in the Ermelo Magistrate's Court in Mpumalanga on Thursday for allegedly operating a fully functional clandestine drug laboratory in Breten.

Directorate of Priority Crime (Hawks) spokesperson, Captain Lloyd Ramovha said drug manufacturing equipment and a haul of mandrax tablets with an estimated street value of over R210 million were seized from the suspects, aged between 29 and 69.

Ramovha said a multimillion rand clandestine laboratory together with a storage facility, were dismantled on Wednesday in Mpumalanga and Soweto.

"This follows a Hawks’ project driven operation undertaken in the early hours of [Wednesday morning] which saw the clandestine laboratory in Breten and the storage facility for mandrax manufacturing chemicals in Diepkloof being raided simultaneously."

Ramovha said the Hawks' South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (SANEB), accompanied by the special Task force, Crime intelligence And Forensic Science Laboratory experts attended to both crime scenes.

He said a 61-year-old woman was arrested on a premises in Diepkloof in Soweto, after 62 bags of acidic substance believed to be used for the manufacturing of drugs were confiscated.

The woman subsequently appeared before the Protea Magistrate’s Court. 

The case was postponed until Friday for further investigation and the woman remains in custody. 

African News Agency/ANA