Johannesburg – Hawks in the North West have arrested an alleged dagga kingpin with two accomplices, one of whom is a member of the South African National Defence Force.
The 39-year-old alleged kingpin was first arrested in February in Mahikeng when he was found in possession of dagga worth R600 000.
He was charged with dealing in dagga and was out on bail when he was arrested for the same offence as well as money laundering on Monday.
Spokesperson Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said the operation was carried out by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation and Priority Crime Specialised Investigation, assisted by members of K9 as well as the Border Policing Unit and the Asset Forfeiture Unit.
She said the operation was aimed at dismantling an illegal enterprise that is believed to be involved in elaborate clandestine activities involving dealing in dagga and money laundering.
“Its alleged that the trio illegally smuggles dagga from Swaziland and supplies it to the market in Mahikeng and surrounding towns.
“Following months of surveillance, evidence gathered further suggests that the suspects are allegedly also involved in money laundering activities involving fixed and movable property” she said.
Rikhotso said two BMW’s, two Mercedes Benz, a Corsa and a VW Polo belonging to the suspects were subsequently seized as they are believed to be proceeds of crime.
Bags of dagga that were found during the search were also seized, she said.
The suspects were expected to appear at the Mmabatho Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday September 1 to face charges of dealing in dagga and money laundering.
Last week, police working together with soldiers and traffic officers caught a man with dagga worth R2.2 million during a roadblock in the North West.
The roadblock, which was part of an operation by the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Covid-19 team, was on the R30 between Klerksdorp and Orkney at the Uraniaville turn-off.
Colonel Adele Myburg, of the North West police, said at the time that officers were doing routine stop-and-searches at around 11am when a white Toyota Camry with Lesotho registration plates was pulled over.
“Upon searching the vehicle, bags of dagga with an estimated street value of R2.2m were found in the boot, the back seat and the spare wheel compartment.”
Myburg said the 34-year-old man, who was travelling alone, was arrested and charged with dealing in drugs.