Tip-off leads to a huge drug haul

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

A tip-off by a member of the public about suspicious activities at a house in Pretoria led to one of the city's biggest drug busts yesterday.

It all started last week when Inspector Raas Hamilton of the Soshanguve dog unit received information from a concerned resident about the possibility of the house in Wonderboom South being used for the manufacturing of drugs.

Yesterday, Hamilton was patrolling with Constable Allie Matlala and a sniffer dog when they decided to check on the house.

To their surprise, the house turned out to be a huge drug factory. "We found a 32-year-old man busy drying some of the drugs. We arrested him and confiscated a large amount of a drug called Cat," Hamilton said.

The owners of the house, an elderly couple, had died and it remained unoccupied for some time until recently when neighbours started spotting a young man around.

According to Hamilton, a further inspection of the house resulted in the discovery of the drug in different stages, which included the cooling and drying process.

The liquid form of the drug was kept inside the freezer and several dozens of blocks, the size of a match box, were inside a tumble dryer and under a heater in separate rooms.

Hamilton estimated the value of the drug at about R5million.

A forensic expert explained how the drug was processed and its effects on the users. He compared it to chemicals used for cleaning drains saying "taking this is just like taking a drain cleaner".

A neighbour told Sowetan that the house has been unoccupied for several weeks since the demise of the elderly couple and that curtains were always closed.