Waterfall ‘drug lab’ house forfeited to the state

2016-01-22 10:30
Drugs (iStock)

Drugs (iStock)

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Pietermaritzburg - The Pietermaritzburg high court on Thursday authorised the forfeiture of a Waterfall property valued at more than R1,6 million, which was suspected to have been used as a base for manufacturing Mandrax in 2014.

Judge Trevor Gorven granted an order in favour of the National Director of Public Prosecutions, forfeiting the property at number 52 Riverview Drive in Waterfall to the state.

According to court documents, the market value of the property is R1 670 000.

After the forfeiture order takes effect, the court-appointed curator will sell the property by public auction.

The deputy national director of public prosecutions, Kenneth Samuel, said in an affidavit there was evidence that the property concerned had been used as a “drug laboratory”.

It was registered to a certain Shanaaz Carelse, who initially could not be found. However, information was recently obtained that Carelse was living in Salt River and the sheriff succeeded in serving notice there.

The application for the forfeiture order was nonetheless not opposed.

According to the investigating officer in the case, Warrant Officer Luke Tancrel of Durban, there was evidence of a link between the suspects arrested on ­drug-related charges at the Waterfall property, and a property at 110 Everton Road where police had earlier uncovered a clandestine drug-producing operation.

The investigations were carried out in June and July 2014.

According to Tancrel, police arrived at the Waterfall property to find two white bakkies outside being loaded with bags containing drugs.

On entering the house the team arrested two men — Denver Joseph and Norman Reyneud — who claimed they were cleaning the house for a friend.

Two other men — Jerrico Chetty and Gonasagren Muroogasen — who were in the bakkies, were also arrested.

Tancrel said police found a number of signs that the house had been used as a laboratory to produce drugs, in particular methaqualone (Mandrax).

There was no evidence that the home was furnished for living purposes.

In one room police found several 25-litre plastic drums, some containing chemicals (sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochloride and hydrochloric acid).

Another room contained several large industrial mixers, the exterior of one of which was in the process of being cut up into pieces with an angle grinder.

There were underground waste disposal pipes, and the garage had been “set up for drying”.

In it were a number of large industrial ovens, more industrial mixers, steel wash basins, and a fan from which a “strong chemical odour emanated”.

There was also a sludge pit outside.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court  |  drugs

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