Cops nab mandrax 'dealer'
POLICE busted a 61-year-old man suspected of manufacturing mandrax at his clandestine laboratories in the Pretoria area and dealing in drugs.
The man is employed as a laboratory technician at a respected Pretoria university.
Late on Saturday night, members of the Hawks and the crime intelligence unit swooped on his house in the elite suburb of Pretoria North.
Hawks spokesman McIntosh Polela said that after police received a reliable tip-off, the man's movements and property were carefully monitored.
"Police had received a tip-off. Late last night (Saturday) we moved in after investigating for a couple of months.
"We found a 61-year-old university lab technician at the house with his wife and two children.
"We found R2-million worth of mandrax and equipment (and chemicals) to manufacture the drugs. Had he continued, he would have created R20m of mandrax," said Polela.
He said the man would appear before a still to be determined magistrate's court today on charges of drug possession, manufacturing and dealing.
"Our investigations are still to determine how long he has been manufacturing and dealing.
"What I found worrying was that we found a 16-year-old girl there. She obviously knew what was happening in that house.
"What kind of parent does this to a child," said Polela.
Website, drugaware.co.za, listed South Africa as one of the top clandestine laboratory locations.
The website stated: "South Africa is the largest abuser of mandrax in the world. Statistics show that mandrax with dagga is still the drug of preference in the largest parts of South Africa." - email@example.com