North West police nab alleged SA’s major dagga supplier
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Pretoria - A cannabis franchise owner and three other men made a brief appearance at the Brits Magistrate's Court on Thursday for several charges including dealing in dagga and fraud.
The Hawks spokesperson Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said Russel de Beer, 49, Archibald Mogale, 34, and Charne Steyn, 27, were arrested on Tuesday in Brits and Hartbeespoort Dam during an operation.
A fourth man, Ulrich Fritz, 25, handed himself over to the police and joined the three in court on Wednesday.
Rikhotso said De Beer and Mogale face several charges, including dealing in dagga, cultivation of dagga, fraud and money laundering to the tune of approximately R10-million. They were released on R100 000 bail each.
Steyn and Fritz face charges of dealing in dagga. They were granted R10 000 and R5 000 bail respectively.
The case was postponed to July 9 for investigation.
"De Beer, who is a major supplier of dagga around the country, was previously arrested in 2019 when his shop, Canapax, was raided and dagga with other products worth approximately R3m were seized. The operation led the team to various Canapax branches around the country, which were shut down.
"During the search on Tuesday, R2m worth of dagga, R54 000 in cash and a Toyota bakkie were seized. Meanwhile, a preservation order was issued for cash amount of approximately R800 000 and a restraint order for a farm worth approximately R3m," she said.
Rikhotso also indicated that the new case would be joined with De Beer's 2019 case.
De Beer allegedly operated about 70 cannabis “dispensary franchises” countrywide, trading as Canapax.