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Asset Forfeiture Unit to confiscate KZN farm allegedly used as drug lab

05 May 2022 - 14:16
The farm in Ingogo is valued at around R1.2m and is about 132ha. Stock photo.
The farm in Ingogo is valued at around R1.2m and is about 132ha. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/STOCKSTUDIO44

The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) in KwaZulu-Natal has obtained a preservation of property order from the Pietermaritzburg high court for a farm near Newcastle allegedly used as a drug laboratory.

The farm in Ingogo is valued at around R1.2m and is about 132ha.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said the suspicious activity on the farm came to light after the directorate for priority crime investigation followed up on information from an informer.

“During a search operation in August 2019, members from the SA Police Service forensic science laboratory (FSL) who were present confirmed that the types of exhibits found on the farm are similar to those found at the scene of a clandestine drug lab.

“The exhibits were then taken to the SAPS Pretoria FSL for chemical analysis and 25kg of methamphetamine were found in some of the exhibits which were analysed.

“Based on the evidence, the state alleges that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the farm was an instrumentality of an offence listed in schedule 1 of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act, in this instance the manufacture, supply and possession of drugs and drug-dealing activity,” said Ramkisson-Kara.

On the day of the execution of the search warrant, it was not possible to determine who was responsible for the manufacturing of the drugs — so no-one on the farm was charged with any criminal offences, she said.

“The preservation order was successfully obtained by state advocate Nazreena Sayed. The farm will remain in the custody of the curator until the AFU obtains a forfeiture order.”

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