Nam dagga trafficking smoked in SA

18 October 2019 | Disasters

More than N$5 million worth of dagga that was headed for Namibia was confiscated by the South African Police this week.

Four suspects arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle the dagga to Namibia were to appear in court yesterday.

South African police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said in a statement that a joint intelligence-led operation resulted in the arrest of four alleged drug traffickers who were found with N$5.2 million worth of dagga, believed to be destined for Namibia.

According to Peters the operation by members of the Gauteng Organised Crime Narcotics Unit and the Johannesburg K9 narcotics unit acted after receiving a tip-off.

“The unit on Tuesday disrupted a planned drug-trafficking operation after police received information that a consignment would be loaded in Johannesburg and transported to Namibia.”

She said members of the Johannesburg K9 narcotics unit intercepted a Toyota Quantum in Alberton and arrested four suspects for possession of and dealing in drugs.

Police found compressed dagga in the vehicle estimated at N$4.2 million and also seized cash as proceeds of crime, said Peters.

According to her, further investigations led police to a house in Meyerton where more dagga was seized. The value of the dagga discovered in the house was estimated at N$1 million.

The suspects were to appear before the regional court in Palmridge yesterday.

By yesterday afternoon Peters could not confirm whether the suspects had appeared in court yet. She confirmed that the suspects are South Africans.

“The Provincial commissioner of police in Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, has applauded the commitment of the members, heeding the call to fight the scourge of drugs that is often associated with other crimes including human trafficking,” said Peters.

Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi of the Namibian police told Namibian Sun that the drug law enforcement unit in Namibia was unaware of the incident.

In March 2017 a judgment was handed down in the Western Cape High Court of South Africa that declared sections of the country's Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act unconstitutional. The judgment allowed people to use dagga privately, but selling it remains against the law. The use of dagga is still illegal in Namibia even through there have been increased calls to legalise the drug following South Africa's ruling.

Drugs to the value of N$334 920 were seized in Namibia last month, while 88 suspects were arrested in connection with drug-related crimes.

The haul included 18.8 kg of cannabis worth N$187 600 and 2.5 kg of 'skunk' cannabis worth N$50 300.

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