Bloemfontein cannabis lab shut down – 8 arrested
Police arrested eight people on Thursday after shutting down a cannabis laboratory in Bloemfontein, Warrant Officer Lynda Steyn said.
“The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks), (South African Police Service) crime intelligence (unit) with the assistance of the tactical response team shut down a cannabis laboratory in Bloemspruit, Bloemfontein, on Thursday and arrested eight suspects aged between 22 and 52 in the process,” Steyn said.
“The team acted on intelligence that was gathered on Monday, concerning a cannabis laboratory that was allegedly operational. The Hawks’ serious organized crime investigation managed to obtain a search warrant, which was successfully executed on Thursday whereby a fully-fledged dagga cultivation greenhouse was discovered.”
Steyn said the value of cannabis was yet to be determined “but it is estimated at a substantial amount”.
A forensic team has been roped in to assist in the dismantling of the greenhouse.
“The eight suspects are expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court next week Monday on charges of cultivating and dealing in dagga,” said Steyn.
Last month, two alleged drug dealers posing as funeral parlour employees and transporting dagga hidden in a coffin were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal, while two others were arrested in the Northern Cape after they crashed their car when they tried to flee from police.
At the time, SAPS KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said police officers from the Pongola police station in northern KwaZulu-Natal had arrested two suspects, aged 32 and 34, for possession of dagga.
The police officers manning a roadblock on the N2 noticed an approaching vehicle that stopped and switched off its lights a short distance away from the roadblock. Police approached the vehicle and found two men inside.
“They informed police that they were employed at a funeral parlour and that they were transporting a corpse. A search was conducted and police uncovered 30 concealed packets of dagga inside the coffin. The total stash weighed in at 80kg. The suspects were immediately arrested and detained at the Pongola police station for possession of dagga,” said Naicker.
In another incident, SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba said that in the Northern Cape two alleged drug dealers were arrested by officers in Philipstown.
It was alleged that police officers stopped a car and asked the occupants for their permit to travel during the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown. The suspects failed to produce a permit and sped off. Police pursued the vehicle, “and in the process, the suspects’ car overturned and drugs fell out of the car”.
More drugs were found inside the car and the two male suspects were arrested and taken to hospital. The confiscated drugs had an estimated street value of about R38,000. The two suspects, aged 30 and 37, faced charges of reckless and negligent driving, dealing in drugs or alternatively possession of drugs, and contravening the Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
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