Hawks on a festive high after R7.5m mandrax bust
The Hawks said they had dealt a “severe blow” to the festive drug trade in the Western Cape by intercepting a truck carrying mandrax worth R7.5-million.
Narcotics Enforcement Bureau officers arrested four Johannesburg men in the west coast town of Vredenburg on Monday evening. The men‚ aged 31 to 58‚ were allegedly taking the 168 000 tablets to a nearby smallholding.
“Members swiftly reacted to information of a truck and a pilot vehicle on the R45 allegedly transporting and escorting drugs‚” said Hawks spokesman Captain Lloyd Ramovha.
“The resultant search of the vehicles uncovered… mandrax tablets valued at approximately R7.5-million hidden in false compartments in the truck.”
Ramovha said the drugs originated in Gauteng‚ and the arrests represented a “severe blow” to the illegal drug trade.
“The four suspects are expected to appear in the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday facing charges relating to drug dealing‚” he said.
Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre director Ashley Potts said research showed that for every user of mandrax‚ 17 other people were affected.
“The impact of mandrax is not only devastating to the individual using it but it impacts the entire household and even the street he lives in‚” said Potts.
It caused depression and insomnia‚ and “severe use” could lead to psychosis and hallucinations.
“It is a top-end drug. It is a bit pricier than methamphetamine (tik) or cannabis‚ but once people are addicted to it they will find it and they will find ways of getting it if they need it‚” he said. – TMG Digital/The Times