Police Minister Bheki Cele has welcomed the arrests of five suspects linked to an underground drug syndicate.
The five, aged between 37 and 43, were arrested on Sunday following a joint investigation by the Western Cape and Gauteng Hawks, Crime Intelligence Counter Narcotics, Gauteng Public Oder Police and Forensic Science Laboratory.
According to police, the multi-faceted team executed a search and seizure operation at Ventura Street, Meyerton Farms in Johannesburg. They discovered and dismantled a fully-equipped methamphetamine (TIK) manufacturing drug laboratory.
Investigators found a series of items consistent with the manufacture and use of methamphetamine as well as an active methamphetamine cook. These items included various forms of drug paraphernalia, chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, cooked and finished methamphetamine and two vehicles.
Cele commended the police, saying drug and substance abuse remains a serious challenge affecting communities especially the youth.
“We, therefore, commend the intelligence-driven operations for yielding positive results in crippling the clandestine drug syndicates in the country. Police will continue to dedicate sufficient resources to multi-disciplinary operations in order to bring the drug criminal underworld to its knees” said Cele said on Monday.
The National Head of the DPCI, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, also commended the team who participated in the operation.
“Now that we have arrested this group that intends to intoxicate the nation, we will be focussing at the proceeds of their criminal activities. We call upon South Africans not to support the dealers by purchasing and consuming these harmful dependence-producing substances,” said Lebeya.
The suspects were secured and they are expected to appear at the Vereeniging Magistrate on Tuesday.