Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter
FIVE Zimbabweans who were part of an eight-member gang that has been peddling drugs in South Africa were arrested last Thursday after they were caught manufacturing heroin worth over $2,6 million in the neighbouring country.
The eight suspects, aged between 25 and 45, were arrested by the Hawks and members of the Crime Intelligence from Chartsworth Cluster, while manufacturing drugs at a house which they had turned into a heroin packaging laboratory at Durban’s North Coast.
According to the South African Police Services website, following their arrest, the eight — five of them Zimbabwean nationals — were found with 26kg of heroin powder and 14kg of uncut heroin with an estimated street value of R17 million.
The drugs were hidden at different compartments inside the house.
SAPS also recovered R1 million worth of heroin-producing equipment which was seized.
It is reported that the suspects had been on the Hawks’ radar for a few weeks after receiving tip-offs concerning the illegal activities at the premises.
South African police are still looking for other suspects and more arrests are imminent.
Meanwhile, a 49-year-old Mozambican national was arrested after he was found in possession of heroin worth over $7,5 million.
According to reports, Joromino Mateus Masoio appeared before the Barberton Magistrates’ Court in South Africa last Monday, facing a charge of dealing in drugs.
Masoio was arrested on March 6, by the White River K9 Unit, after the unit received information regarding a vehicle which was from Mozambique heading to Gauteng, transporting drugs.
Police in South Africa then instituted a lookout for the vehicle, a white Toyota Prado, which was spotted and stopped at Kaapmuiden near Nelspruit for a search. During the search, police found R50 million worth of Heroin stashed in a petrol tank.
The suspect was remanded in custody.
Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma was quoted saying: “This clearly shows the strength of our intelligence on the ground and dedication. It is also a clear message to drug syndicates that we will not allow any drug trafficking in our country.
“One cannot emphasise enough how these drugs are ravaging our communities. I applaud the sterling work done by the teams.”