SEVEN men who were arrested during an undercover operation by the Port Shepstone Hawks and the National Intervention Unit have court appearances in local courts this month, where almost 4 376 dagga plants with a street value of approximately R26 265 000 were recovered in January.One of the men arrested, Zsolts Lechki of Hangarian descent appeared at the Port Shepstone Magistrate Court last Tuesday. During the operation Lechki was found with 472 grams of dagga at the Oribi Plaza centre and arrested at the scene. Lechki, however, had drug and drug trafficking charges dating back to June 2017. On June 28, 2017 he was arrested for being in the possession of 300 grams of dagga, on September 4, he was found with 190 grams, on November 3, 110 grams and on December 20 100 grams of dagga. According to Port Shepstone Hawks spokesperson Simphiwe Mhlongo, the operation was a culmination of a two-year operation and six clandestine laboratories were dismantled.Mhlongo said that members found dagga plants, cultivating equipment as well as a specialised hydroponics dagga laboratory found in Hibberdene during operations. “Raids were conducted in several pre-identified farms and houses in Oslo Beach, Hibberdene, Sea Park, Ramsgate and Margate, where suspects were caught processing dagga,” said Mhlongo. During the raids, dogs belonging to the accused were handed over to the Lower South Coast SPCA.“Investigations revealed that the syndicate was allegedly responsible for distributing the dagga in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. The suspects’ houses and farms were utilised for this illicit trade,” said Mhlongo. Lechki’s case was postponed to May 30.