Hawks seize Mandrax worth R25m

Mandrax worth over R25 million was seized and five people were arrested in one of Gauteng's largest drug busts at Zuurbekom, near Johannesburg, the Hawks said on Monday.

"The Hawks seized chemicals, equipment, a delivery van which had panels to conceal the drugs, a large quantity of packed Mandrax tablets, as well as Mandrax powder yet to be pressed for shipment," said Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi in a statement.

Five people, aged between 27 and 78, would face charges of possession and dealing in drugs. They would appear in the Westonaria Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

The bust, which took place on Tuesday, was part of a joint operation between the Hawks Vaal Rand and Western Cape units and Crime Intelligence.

"The operation began two weeks ago when [Hawks] members received information of a clandestine laboratory that was manufacturing and transporting Mandrax tablets to clients in the Western Cape."

Acting head of the Hawks Maj-Gen Mthandazo Ntlemeza congratulated the officers involved in the joint effort.

"The results of this operation and other recent seizures highlight the threat posed to our country by organised crime syndicates. We are committed and more united than ever and we will continue to work collaboratively and aggressively pursue anyone who takes part in illegal activity," he said.