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Hawks seize R5 million in Mandrax tablets

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Police have seized a consignment of Mandrax tablets with a street value of R5 million, arresting three suspects in Cape Town, the Hawks said on Tuesday.

Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the arrests took place on Sunday in a joint operation involving the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) and Crime Intelligence.

“On 15 March 2015, members of the DPCI and Crime Intelligence acted on information gathered about Mandrax tablets that were being transported from Gauteng to the Western Cape.

“The assistance of the Paarl K9 Unit and the Forensics Department was sought to assist in the extensive examination during the search and seizure of four suspected vehicles,” said Mulaudzi.

Around 11.20pm, the vehicles were stopped at the Huguenot Toll Gate and the Hawks seized large quantities of drugs which included 117,000 Mandrax tablets valued at R5.2 million, 10,000 ecstasy tablets with a street value of R500,000, and an undisclosed amount of cash.

The drugs were found hidden in the vehicles’ compartments. It was found that the fourth vehicle was not involved and it was released.

“Three people, who have extensive criminal records, have been taken into custody. The three suspects, aged between 20 and 40, are likely to face charges of possession and dealing in drugs when they appear in the Paarl Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.”

Acting DPCI head, Maj-Gen Mthandazo Ntlemeza. said the operation again demonstrated the power of joint law-enforcement efforts.

“Criminal networks seeking to bring illicit drugs into our cities will continue to find it harder and harder to operate when they are up against the combined efforts of multiple law enforcement.

“We are well aware that international criminals see Australia as a lucrative market for their drugs, but we will continue to work closely with our partners to identify syndicates such as these and ensure their shipments never make it to the streets of Australia.”

“Syndicates of organised crime should know that we are prepared, willing and able to combine our skills, resources and efforts to target them,” said Ntlemeza. SAPA


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