More charges added after e-drug bust

2014-11-12 00:00

THE swoop that netted five men and ecstasy tablets with an estimated street value of R85 million last week has taken a dramatic turn.

More charges are expected to be added when the five men, including co-owners of Florida Road’s Keys nightclub Gregory Ayres (45) and Gareth Brissett (40), who are accused of possessing ecstasy, appear in court later this week.

This comes after police uncovered what they believe is a drug warehouse and factory on Linze Road off Umngeni Road on Monday night.

Police said the warehouse was allegedly being used as a clandestine drug laboratory. They found multiple machines, drums of precursor chemicals and an undisclosed amount of cash.

Police say the mini warehouse was leased by one of the men who were arrested last week.

National police spokesperson Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale said the police are investigating if the men have any links to the bust on Linze Road.

“The precursor chemicals found in the warehouse today [Monday] are similar to the ones found in the Westville house. These chemicals too can also be used for manufacture of ecstasy tablets.”

He said the five men are still in police custody and they are expected to make their second appearance in the Middleburg and Pinetown regional courts on Thursday and Friday respectively. Ayres and Valari Nikolov appeared at the Middleburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday after police arrested Ayres and Bulgarian national Nikolov (41) at the Middleburg Toll Plaza in Mpumalanga on November 4.

Police seized about 600 000 ecstasy tablets in a light delivery vehicle destined for Durban. Their arrest led police to a house in Koningkramer Street in Westville. In Brissett’s house, police found precursor chemicals that are commonly used in the manufacturing of drugs. They also found bulk of powdered chemicals that are suspected to have been used in manufacturing illicit narcotics.

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