More suspects arrested in ARV tablets case

2020-01-29 06:00

The Free State police have caught four more suspects in connection with antiretroviral (ARV) drug syndicate.

The four suspects, three males and one female, have added to the number of suspects bust with ARV drugs during January.

The four culprits were arrested in Thabong, a township near Welkom, last Thursday (23/01). They brought the number to nine alleged syndicates arrested for dealing with ARV drugs.

The first suspects, two men from the Eastern Cape, were nabbed at the Bloemfontein Railway Station on 9 January. Three more suspects, two men and one woman were caught near Ventersburg on 10 January.

The police confiscated 265 bottles of ARV tablets during the arrest in Ventersburg and 1 068 bottles during the arrest of the duo from the Eastern Cape.

During the arrest of the three in Welkom 160 tablet containers in two boxes were discovered.

Brig. Motantsi Makhele, provincial police spokesperson, said the suspects failed to account for the origins of the tablets. He said the members reacted to information that led to the string of arrests, adding that the vehicles utilised in the separate incidents were confiscated as part of the investigations. It is confirmed that one of the suspects from the Eastern Cape is an employee at the Department of Health in the EC.

According to Makhele the 1 068 bottles of ARV discovered during the arrest in Bloemfontein are worth over R1 million. He said the four suspects arrested in Welkom will be charged in accordance to section 22 (A) 101/1965 of the Medicine and related substance act. He said intelligence information was received about a vehicle transporting ARV tablets from Kroonstad to Thabong.

“Members responded swiftly to trace the vehicle. The vehicle was stopped and the police found 160 tablet containers inside two boxes. The vehicle and the two boxes were confiscated,” said Makhele.

Some of the ARV tablets brands discovered during the three separate arrests have been identified as Atroiza, Odimune and Tribuss.


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