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Hawks Raid Mpumalanga: Drug Labs Dismantled and Multiple Arrests Made

Published March 21, 2024
2 months ago

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) in conjunction with the South African Police Service (SAPS) has achieved significant success through a strategic and targeted anti-crime operation conducted in the Mpumalanga region. On Tuesday, during meticulously executed raids, five suspects, including a woman, were apprehended as part of a disruptive operation focused on drug-related activities in Secunda and Bethal. This marks a notable triumph against the drug trade in South Africa.

Amid intensifying concerns over the spread of illegal narcotics, the operation was based on a major investigation pinpointing locations involved in the manufacturing and distribution of drugs. Strategies incorporated covert operations that successfully led to the identification of suspects linked to criminal activities. Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi, spokesperson for the Hawks in Mpumalanga, provided details on the succession of raids that unfolded during the operation.

The first raid took place on a farm, where a comprehensive search led to the discovery of an active drug lab, along with assorted ammunition and firearms. A 70-year-old male suspect was taken into custody from the property. A second location in Bethal revealed more evidence of drug manufacturing, including a substantial quantity of ammunition from various calibres and magic mushrooms alongside a dehydrator and computers, culminating in the arrest of a 40-year-old suspect.

The momentum continued as officials hit a third address in Secunda. The evidence collected here included more magic mushrooms, both loose and packaged, cannabis-infused edibles such as sweets and cookies, and cocoa powder. A 32-year-old woman was arrested at the scene. Arrests went further with a 33-year-old suspect being detained following the seizure of dagga, magic mushroom plants, and chemicals from a fourth address.

The successful operation extended to a business premise where dry cannabis and cannabis-infused chocolates were uncovered, leading to the arrest of a 35-year-old suspect. All seized substances are currently under investigation, with the presence of psilocybin in magic mushrooms posing significant concern due to its psychoactive and hallucinogenic properties.

The impact of this operation was succinctly summarized by Major General Nicholas Gerber, the provincial head of the Hawks, who underscored the determination of law enforcement to thoroughly dismantle all avenues of drug smuggling within society.

The arrested suspects were expected to make their court appearances at the Secunda Magistrates Court following the significant law enforcement breakthrough.

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