WATCH | Cops swoop on multimillion-rand drug lab in Sandton

28 March 2019 - 20:38 By Iavan Pijoos

Four people have been arrested in a raid on a home-based laboratory manufacturing both Mandrax and CAT at a house in Sandton on March 28 2019.

Gauteng police swooped on a drug laboratory in a home in Sandton, Johannesburg, on  Thursday.

National police commissioner Gen Khehla Sitole, provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela and Gauteng community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane visited the house following the bust.

Sitole said three foreign nationals were arrested for drug manufacturing.

A fourth foreign national, who arrived on the scene after the raid, was arrested after he attempted to bribe officers with R10,000 to "kill the operation".

Sitole said the mandrax found was estimated to be worth about R2.5m, while the CAT had an estimated value of R500,000.

"We are targeting the drug heavyweights. Those who contaminate the moral fibre of society and those who run operations of supplying our children with drugs throughout the country," Sitole said.

A police forensics officer loads drugs into a van following a major drug bust at a home in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Thursday March 28 2019.
A police forensics officer loads drugs into a van following a major drug bust at a home in Sandton, Johannesburg, on Thursday March 28 2019.
Image: Alon Skuy

The house, with high walls and electric fencing, is situated in a gated community in the Kelvin area. A silver Mercedes-Benz, which allegedly belonged to the arrested men, was stationed on a tow truck.

Police pounced on the house in the early hours of Thursday morning.

During a visit to the house, several chemicals, including pool acid, pool chlorine and huge white bags of salt granules could be seen in the double garage. Also in the garage were two ovens, several black oven pans and knives.

In the kitchen, were two half-eaten plates of rice and meat.

In the first room there were buckets of salt granules, several blenders and two small electronic scales. The living room was empty, with no couches or other furnishings. In a different room, there was a bed with a blanket and other drug manufacturing tools. In the cupboard were a few tops, pants, shoes and several notes of Nigerian currency.

In a different room down the hallway there was a machine which produces mandrax tablets.

The opposite room also had a bed and blanket on it. The cupboard was filled with different sorts of teas, including green tea and Herbalife.

A police officer enters a property in Sandton, Johannesburg, after a drug bust in the early hours of Thursday, March 28 2019.
A police officer enters a property in Sandton, Johannesburg, after a drug bust in the early hours of Thursday, March 28 2019.
Image: Alon Skuy

The garden and pool at the backyard were poorly maintained. A strong stench of chemicals came from the backroom in the yard. In the room stood 5l and 20l plastic litre bottles of various chemicals.

Plastic pipes lay next to a huge bag of salt granules.

Nkosi-Malobane congratulated the police for their swift action and busting the drug laboratory.

"I want to motivate them that they must keep on doing the right thing. I also want to thank them for not allowing criminals not to bribe them.

"It is police who needs to be celebrated on a daily basis," she said.

She said it was time for communities to stand up against drugs in their areas.

"It is time that our people need to start asking questions when they see houses that are not properly kept, where there is suspicious movements, let them come forward and give information to our people," Nkosi-Malobane said.


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