House bought cash by a 24-year-old

2014-06-26 00:00

THE plush Kloof home raided by police and found to be harbouring possibly the country’s largest heroin stash — was sold just two months ago to a first-time homeowner.

Police have been scouring the Everton Road property after a raid that uncovered nearly 10 tons of heroin with a street value of more than R3 billion. And the new owner — whose identity is known to The Witness — has not been ruled out as a suspect.

At just 24 years old he took ownership of the plot complete with swimming pool, squash court, a main house and cottages for R3,8 million without a bond, according to Deeds office records.

But the previous owner, Johan Dekker, who gave a statement to the police yesterday, said he was surprised that the property was in the name of the “young man” as he had never met him and had only dealt with him over the phone once.

On Tuesday a police intelligence-driven operation led a team of heavily armed officers to the upmarket home in one of Durban’s premier suburbs.

Officers stormed the property after pushing a heavy electric gate from its rails. They found three men inside a sophisticated drug lab processing heroin.

Among the three are two Chinese nationals understood to be chemists charged with producing nearly 10 tons of the potent street drug.

“I dealt with two older Indian men who were definitely local and said they were involved in the construction industry. They made an offer.

“It is a big property which had been on the market for a long time. There aren’t too many buyers in this price range. When the men made the offer I accepted,” said Dekker.

Dekker built the home for his family in 2002.

Earlier this year the house was placed on the market for R5 million.

Dekker said he spoke to the 24-year-old only once on the phone when he saw the house was being placed in his name. “He said he knows the guys and said he was aware of the sale.”

Attempts to contact the new homeowner were unsuccessful.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said they have not ruled the homeowner out as a possible suspect.

“In cases such as this, tenants commit the crime without the knowledge of the homeowner but as part of normal procedure the homeowner must be questioned.

“We will continue lifting DNA evidence and fingerprints and will create a complete 3D mapping of the crime scene,” said Naicker.

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