Thursday, 14 November 2019

Phuthaditjhaba: On Thursday, 14 November 2019, the South African Police Service uncovered a major drug laboratory at Lefaso farm; Phuthaditjhaba; in the Free State, worth millions of rands.

During a multi-disciplinary operation, members of the SAPS Crime Intelligence, Crime Detection and the Hawks, decended on two buildings on the Lefaso farm. On seeing the police, suspects fled in a Toyota Fortuner and another one, on foot.

A high-speed chase between the police and the Fortuner ensued from the farm and the suspect’s vehilce was eventually stopped at Warden. The suspect, in his 50’s, was arrested. While this was happening, a 32 year old suspect was persued on foot and aslo arrested.

The two buildings which should have been used for farming were instead being used solely for the manufacturing of mandrax tablets. While one building was being used to manufacture the finished product, the other was being used for the storage of chemicals and other ingredients as well as for the preparation of the mixture for the making of the tablets.

Following the discovery on the farm, teams simultanesouly raided two houses in the Kiblerpark and Forrest Hill areas, South of Johannesburg. Both houses have been positively connected to the farm after drugs, chemicals and substantial amounts of money were found in both houses. Over and above this, all the people linked to the farm and the houses share the same surname.

While its is difficult to put a value to a drug manufacturing laboratory, with all the contents, chemicals and machinery, Police said they can estimate the operation to be no less than R100 million.

The operations yesterday stemmed from arrests and recoveries made in Middleburg in the Mpumalanga Province as well as Diepkloof in Soweto outside Johannesburg, some weeks ago.

The arrest of the latest two suspects brings the number of suspects arrested in connection with all of these drug operations to 11.