Illegal sex drugs lab shut down

Police and a forensics team raided a house in Brackenhurst where drugs like Viagra and Kamagra were being manufactured.
Police and a forensics team raided a house in Brackenhurst where drugs like Viagra and Kamagra were being manufactured.

Gauteng police have arrested a Chinese woman for operating an illegal medicine-manufacturing plant specialising on sex-enhancing stimulants at her home in Brackenhurst, Ekurhuleni.

Officers yesterday combed the scene unraveling how these stimulants were produced at the house along the quiet Esserman Street.

Hawks spokesperson Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi said the flying squad unit followed information from a source about suspicious activity at the house.

Mulaudzi said the police called the Hawks for back-up on Monday when they realised the amount of medicine which was being produced at the house.

"A Chinese lady was arrested and her lawyer was around [on Monday]. Today is just a continuation of the investigation and to go through the premises with our forensics," Mulaudzi said.

"We also have the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority to oversee the premises. They have confirmed that this operation is illegal and charges will be laid against the suspect."

At the premises, the police found drugs such as Viagra and Kamagra, medicine-packaging equipment, slimming pills, herbal antibiotics, green tea, immune boosters and medicine to treat asthma and hypertension.

The plant was operated in an apartment at the house. It also had a storeroom containing various ingredients used in producing the sex-enhancing drugs.

The woman, who faces charges of contravening the Medicines and Related Substance Act, sat quietly at the entrance as the police searched the premises.

Mulaudzi said: "The plant is a serious health risk. We've noticed that some of the teas being manufactured here find their way into the shelves of retail shops.

"I have known that these products are popular in Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria; you will find most of these [sex-enhancement products in these cities].

"A lot of men are putting themselves in serious danger."

Leon Breydenbach, a neighbour, said the Chinese moved into the area about two years ago.

They immediately changed security features by building a high wall, electric fence and installing a number of cameras around the house.

Breydenbach said he noticed a number of trucks coming in to deliver goods at the house, but could not establish what business the new neighbours were involved in.

"For a normal business residence it did not make sense for these delivery trucks to come in here. There is no board that says there is some business activity taking place in the house," Breydenbach said.

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