Crime-prevention blitz deals major blow to suspected drug and rhino horn dealers

2019-05-05 11:37
Rhino horns concealed in wine crates.

Rhino horns concealed in wine crates. (Supplied)

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Suspected drug dealers were arrested and Malaysia-destined rhino horns worth millions intercepted in a two-day crime crackdown in Gauteng.

This was through a joint effort by the Hawks' South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (SANEB), Serious Organised Crime, Crime Intelligence and an Ekurhuleni Metro Police SWAT team.

"Three suspects aged between 38 and 43 were arrested for two different drug incidents in Soweto and Kempton Park. The most recent arrest was on Saturday morning, which culminated in the arrest of a 40-year-old man from Protea Glen, Soweto," said Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu.

"The Johannesburg Serious Organised Crime's investigation team seized R5.5m worth of methaqualone powder which was going to be utilised to manufacture Mandrax inside the suspect's house. The team discovered the clandestine laboratory and confiscated chemicals, machinery which  included a table presser, a mixer, weighing scales and containers."

Mulamu said the suspect, who has been charged with manufacturing and supplying drugs, was expected to appear before the Protea Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Concealed in wine crates

She said on the other end of the province, in Ekurhuleni, suspected heroin, crystal meth and cocaine worth approximately R4.4m were confiscated by SANEB members at a house in Birghleigh, Kempton Park. They were found "carefully concealed inside two wine crates" on Thursday evening. 

"The consignment was destined for Amsterdam via OR Tambo International Airport. Two suspects aged 38 and 43 and charged with dealing in drugs have been arrested. They will appear before the Kempton Park Magistrates Court on Monday," Mulamu said.

The Hawks said there may have been no arrest on this one, but a success was registered when "R38m worth of rhino horns were intercepted and seized by the Serious Organised Investigation team at a warehouse in Kempton Park stashed in wine crates as well on Friday afternoon". 

"The consignment was destined for Malaysia. No arrests have been made as yet and investigations are underway," Mulamu said.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  narcotics  |  poaching
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