21 March 2019

South Africa: Police Detect Drug Lab in Hammanskraal

press release

The National Commissioner of Police, General Khehla John Sitole has welcomed the detection of a clandestine drug laboratory and praised the SAPS team for a job well done.

Yesterday, members from the SAPS Tshwane North Crime Intelligence and the

Soshanguve K9 Units detected the well-established drug laboratory in a farm house in the Vasfontein area of Hammanskraal just outside the capital city, Pretoria.

An array of steroids in the form of tablets for oral intake and liquid intended to be consumed intravenously was being manufactured on this farm.

A 55-year-old qualified pharmacist, his 52-year-old life partner and a 38-year-old employee were arrested on the scene.

The team confiscated large amounts of finished products; chemicals; machines including a tablet presser, a mixer, a tablet-coating machine (for colouring of tablets); two x pistols of which one is unlicensed; a loaded shotgun and several rounds of ammunition.

The conditions under which the steroids were being manufactured was uncontrolled, unconducive and could potentially, if not already, be a health risk to those in the area of the operation as well as those consuming the products.

It became evident from documents seized on the premises that one of the persons to whom these drugs were being supplied was arrested in 2015 and in 2017 he was convicted and sentenced to15 years imprisonment plus a fine of R900 000 of which the 15 years was suspended for five years. Police are currently searching for this individual.

All three suspects are currently in police custody for contravention of the Medicines Control Act in that they have allegedly been manufacturing and distributing a Schedule 6 drug in an uncontrolled manner.

The National Commissioner of Police, speaking from the crime scene this morning said, "It goes directly against Government's initiatives for rural developments when a property intended for farming is used to produce illicit substances".

This seems to be a growing modus operandi after also detecting a similar multi-million rand mandrax laboratory in Harding a few months ago. "I have tasked the investigation team to engage the Asset Forfieture Unit in an effort to seize all property to the State in terms of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA)", added General Sitole.

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