Drug bust: cops cut media to save face

2014-07-26 00:00

THE police have instituted a media blackout in the wake of the latest high-profile drug bust in KwaZulu-Natal, following a spectacular bungle after a previous bust.

The latest bust took place at a home in Waterfall, one of Durban’s most sought-after suburbs, on Thursday night. The home was apparently being used as a drug laboratory, but scant information was forthcoming from the police.

This after the spectacular bungling of another drug haul in April, during which R20 million worth of chemicals used in the production of Mandrax was seized.

Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega had jetted in to proclaim it the largest drug bust in South African history, and had initially valued the chemical payload at over R3 billion.

A police insider close to the Waterfall investigation, who would not be named, said the media blackout was an effort to save face.

“Things were messed up so badly last time, so this is obviously a lesson learnt from their mistake.”

The officer added that the cordon of the scene had excluded some police officers, and that a media blackout had been ordered.

“I think this time we need to do our homework before making sweeping statements.”

Thursday night’s bust brings the number of drug processing plants found in Durban’s premier suburbs to six in the past year.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko confirmed that the bust could be linked to others in the area. He said that equipment believed to have been used in the production of Mandrax was found at the scene, which was in the process of being dismantled.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said he could not comment on the bust and referred all questions to Ramaloko.

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