Hawks smoke out another dagga farm

The Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit with members of the police’ K9 unit in Hartebeespoort raided and shut down a hydroponic dagga lab in Assen near Brits on Thursday.

Three suspects between the ages of 28 and 49 were arrested and dagga worth R1.2 million was seized.

According to Hawks spokesperson, CaptainTlangelani Rikhotso the arrests followed information received by the police regarding the cultivation and dealing in dagga activities. “A search warrant was executed and a fully-fl edged dagga cultivation greenhouse with approximately 148 dagga plants were found.” She said 24 bags containing processed dagga were found in an air conditioned room.

More bags of processed dagga were found in the rest of the house and in the ceiling. “Three suspects were subsequently arrested. Preliminary investigations reveal that the main suspect is linked to other cases of dealing in dagga, and was once declared an undesirable person in the country.” The trio appeared in the Brits Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 25 November 2019 on charges of cultivating and dealing in dagga.

This follows short on the heels of the arrest of a cannabis shop owner in Brits two weeks ago where cannabis worth R3 million was seized. The Hawks raided the Canapax shop in Van Velden Street in Brits on Saturday, 9 November, and discovered over 500 kg worth of cannabis, hydroponic tunnels for cannabis cultivation, various apparatus for processing and oil extraction and numerous other cannabis products were seized.

The shop owner, Russell de Beer was arrested. According to Hawks spokesperson, Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso, De Beer, who claimed to be operating under the Traditional Health Practitioners Act, allegedly also sold about 70 franchises at R25 000 each for cannabis dispensaries countrywide and was a major supplier of cannabis and related products in the country.”

During another drug-related arrest last week, a 36-year-old suspect was arrested in Primindia, Brits on Friday, 22 November 2019, for dealing in drugs. Acting on information, police members searched three houses in Primindia, where they discovered and seized drugs with an estimated street value of R12 000.

The suspect appeared in the Brits Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 25 November 2019 on a charge of dealing in drugs. The police have indicated that they are currently hard at work to clamp down on cannabis dispensaries as well as other drug-related off enses.