“Five people, four of them Nigerians were arrested with cocaine having a street value of ZAR 2 million in Johannesburg, South Africa.”
Five people have been arrested in Ridgeway, south of Johannesburg, for allegedly being in possession of three kilograms of cocaine with a street value of R2 million approximately 38 million NGN.
The Hawks and members of the dog unit arrested the four Nigerian men and one South African woman at an upmarket complex around 6 am . It was suspected that the complex was being used as a distribution point and that the drug was manufactured elsewhere.
The suspects all in their 30s have been arrested and will appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday, September 26. They face charges of dealing in drugs.
South African Police Services spokesperson, Lungelo Dlamini said; “Inside the bathroom of the house we found cocaine powder which is worth about R2 million. These suspects have been arrested and will be taken to the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday. Our investigation is continuing and we may arrest more people.”
Further investigations may lead police to a drug laboratory which is believed to be in the southern suburbs of Johannesburg. Police also seized vehicle registration documents and passports believed to be fake.
In another incident, Gauteng police are currently on the scene of a multi-million rand drug bust at a residential property in Parkmore in northern Johannesburg. “All the chemicals and equipment, as well as the end product of Mandrax, worth about R11 million were found,” Dlamini said.
A man and a woman were arrested at the house around 8am, after a month-long operation by the Hawks. Mandrax is a synthetic drug compiled by mixing chemicals in a process to produce a tablet. The active ingredient in Mandrax is Methaqualone. Mandrax had various side effects, especially if it mixed with Dagga(weed) and alcohol, which was life threatening because it caused psychological and physical dependency. Mandrax is banned in most parts of the world because of the misuse and South Africa is the largest abuser of Mandrax in the world.
Three stolen vehicles with Botswana licence plates were confiscated and no money was found at the scene. The couple, both in their 30s, are expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of manufacturing and dealing in drugs.
Signs of a mandrax user include yellow stained hands, bloodshot eyes, gaunt appearance, rotten teeth, drowsiness, loss of appetite, increased saliva secretion, and swollen abdomen. Mandrax is exported on a large scale and brought into South Africa in false panels of cars, in spare wheels of trucks, in false fuel tanks, and in containers.
By Chidi Okoye
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