Hawks swoop on suburban drug lab

CRACK police unit the Hawks have bust another clandestine drug laboratory in Randburg, Johannesburg.

CRACK police unit the Hawks have bust another clandestine drug laboratory in Randburg, Johannesburg.

The laboratory operated from a backyard garage.

"We found a number of 210-litre drums and 25kg plastic containers of chemicals used in the manufacturing of mandrax," said Hawks spokesperson Musa Zondi.

He said more chemicals were found in an outhouse.

"Again there were countless drums of chemicals," he said.

Zondi said the laboratory looked like a legitimate business. "In the house itself, police discovered large quantities of mandrax tablets. Police also discovered ammunition.

"Some tablets were hidden in desks in anoffice," he said.

Zondi said the forensic team estimated the value of the equipment in the lab, the chemicals and the drugs at R10 million.

"The same team scored other important discoveries in the week when they bust a former policemen operating in Lonehill, who is suspected of being involved in manufacturing of methcathinone, commonly known as Cat.

"The estimated value there is at least R150 000."

Zondi said the former policeman was arrested in the early hours of Friday morning with his girlfriend and their suspected drug-dealing connection," Zondi said.

He said the Randburg laboratory suspects were expected to appear in court tomorrow. The policeman and his accomplice are expected in court today.

In December, the Hawks raided a drug factory on a farm in Brakpan, Ekurhuleni and arrested two people.

Last month, police cracked another drug laboratory in Kensington, eastern Johaesburg, and seized drugs valued at an estimated R20 million.

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