The joint police teams arrested 16 suspects aged between 32 and 58 years during a take-down operation with a series of raids across the Southern Cape as well as Gqeberha.
Search warrants were executed by a multi-disciplinary team led by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) in the Western Cape together with Crime Intelligence, Oudtshoorn K9 Unit, District Crime Combating Team, Public Order Policing Unit (POPS) as well as the Hawks teams based in George, Beaufort West and Eastern Cape.
A total of seven suspects were arrested in Oudtshoorn, three in George, one in Gqeberha, one in Ladysmith, two in De-Rust and the last two in Calitzdorp.
The take down operation dismantled a syndicate of drug traffickers controlling the Southern Cape region at the break of dawn on Thursday, 16 March 2023 in their respective residences.
This syndicate was mainly operating in the Garden Route District which is George, De-rust, Oudtshoorn, Ladismith, Pacaltsdorp and Calitzdorp.
The main suppliers of these drugs are from George and Gqeberha.
It is reported that the main target has been operating for decades in dealing in drugs in the Oudtshoorn area. The sixteen suspects will face charges of dealing in drugs, money laundering and pattern of racketeering activity respectively.
Since the inception of this operation from 2019 until March 2023, a total of 5354 mandrax tablets and 816 grams of Tik to the value of R421 070.00 was seized from the suspects.
Consequently, a total of thirty-two (32) cases were registered with 54 charges.