Four people have been arrested and a large drug laboratory uncovered in Kraaifontein, Cape Town, national police said today.
Colonel Vishnu Naidoo said chemicals and equipment worth over R2 billion and a large quantity of cocaine were found on a business premises in Karee Street yesterday and four Indian nationals were arrested.
“The business premises was being used as a clandestine laboratory in which almost a ton of methaqualone powder, which is commonly used in the manufacture of Mandrax tablets, was seized. This amount of powder can be used to manufacture approximately 1.6 million Mandrax tablets with a street value of R112 million.”
He said police also seized other chemicals that could be utilised to manufacture a further two million Mandrax tablets as well as equipment to the value of R10 million.
In another incident, a Mozambican woman was found in possession of approximately R12 million worth of cocaine.
She was stopped by members of the Crime Intelligence Unit at O R Tambo International Airport when she returned from South America.
National police commissioner General Bheki Cele praised the police for uncovering the drug laboratory.
“It helps our efforts enormously to overcome the scourge of drugs.
“Uncovering a laboratory as well as identifying drug mules entering the country are indeed much bigger than just seizing drugs on its own, as this is aiming at the heart of such operations,” Cele said.
Naidoo said the four Indian nationals arrested in connection with the drug bust in Cape Town would appear in the Kuilsriver Magistrates Court tomorrow.
The Mozambican woman would appear in the Kempton Park Magistrates Court tomorrow.