Hammarsdale police nab dagga smugglers

2016-05-06 11:00
Hammarsdale police spokesperson Constable Mbonisi Khomo shows the contents of one of the 17 bags of dagga worth R1,2?million that were recovered.

Hammarsdale police spokesperson Constable Mbonisi Khomo shows the contents of one of the 17 bags of dagga worth R1,2?million that were recovered. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - A Hammarsdale police sting netted six suspects who were caught smuggling dagga with a street value of R 1,2 million in the early hours of on Thursday.

Police had received a tipoff about a convoy involving a truck belonging to a Durban cargo company, a sedan and a bakkie having left Durban with 17 bags of dagga destined for Cape Town.

They called for backup from ­Mpumalanga police, Pietermaritzburg K9 and SSS security.

Hammarsdale police spokesperson ­Constable Mbonisi Khomo said police ­immediately drove to the N3 between ­Hammarsdale and Cato Ridge.

“They spotted the vehicles fitting the ­description parked at a petrol station near Cato Ridge.

“The members approached the suspects, and upon searching the vehicles 17 bags of dagga were found in the truck and the bakkie. All six suspects were placed under arrest and charged for possession of dagga.

“The arrested suspects are expected to appear in the Mpumalanga Magistrate’s Court [today],” he said.

Khomo said police believe that those arrested are part of a syndicate that transports dagga along the same route.

General manager at General Cargo, Krishna Reddy said he had been woken up by a phone call telling him that one of their trucks had been involved when suspects were arrested in a police sting.

The truck was supposed to be transporting car airbags, clothing and machinery.

“We always warn our drivers about these things. We always tell them not to do these things,” he said.

Reddy said the arrest had affected operations at the company.

“Now we are late already as this cargo has been delayed,” he said.

An employee of the company, who asked not to be named, said he had started worrying when none of his colleagues answered his calls when he tried to find out where they were.

“I think they were scared or something. Later, one of them answered and gave the phone to the police officer to explain what had happened,” said the employee.

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni praised the members for their “dedication and commitment to root out drugs in the province”.

“These members showed that they are dedicated in their work and we urge the community to continue working with the police by providing information that will lead to the arrest and recovery of drugs,” she said.

• sabelo.nsele@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  drug bust

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