raid nets assets of 'druglord'

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The National Prosecution Authority (NPA), Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) and SAPS organised crime unit combined yesterday to seize assets worth more than R5million from alleged drug trafficking kingpin Thembelihle Komane.

Komane was arrested in Pietermaritzburg in 2005.

Yesterday the law enforcement agencies seized assets that included five houses and several vehicles in Pietermaritzburg.

Komane, according the to police, is the alleged main drug distributor and supplier in the Pietermaritzburg area.

He is standing trail with five others on charges of drug dealing, money laundering and racketeering.

NPA spokesman Tlali Tlali said that the AFU had successfully applied for a preservation order in terms of section 38 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

"It allows for assets to be seized where an investigation has established that those who acquired the assets do not have legitimate sources of income to justify or account for such acquisition," he said.

Tlali said that with other investigations carried out they could state that the assets were the proceeds of crime.

"More than 11000 mandrax tablets were found at one of Komane's properties when he was arrested in 2005.

"Four of the five accused are out on bail, including Komane," Tlali said.

Tlali said the accused were released pending the resumption of their trial. The case is set for September 29 to October 10 in the Pietermaritzburg regional court.