A group of five alleged drug dealers has all been released out on bail after they appeared in the George Magistrate Court.
According to Hawks spokesperson Zinzi Hani, the five were released on bail on Tuesday, respectively, with conditions.
Hani said the organised crime group is alleged to have been involved in securing cannabis from several cultivators based in the rural villages of the Eastern Cape.
“Once the required quantity of cannabis was secured, it would be moved to the Southern Cape.”
This follows a multidisciplinary operation executed last month by the Hawks Serious Organised Crime team from George and Ggeberha, George K9 unit, POPS Southern Cap, and Oudtshoorn and Motherwell Crime Intelligence.
The operation resulted in numerous properties being searched and the arrest of five people.
Lindelani Lofani, Hlalanathi Lofani, Bongani Kenny Mgqetse, Mzimasi Lofani and Somleze Nkawule all face charges of of dealing in illicit drugs as well contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) 121 of 1998.
The matter has been remanded to 28 March 2022 for further investigation.
Meanwhile, plants and dry dagga to the street value of R600 000 were confiscated earlier this month. An R4 million worth of structure that is reported to be used in the processing of the plants was also identified.
Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said two men, aged 35 and 65-year-old were arrested.
“The operation was conducted by the East London based Serious Organised Crime Investigation (SOCI) team of the Hawks, Crime Intelligence, K9 unit, Local Criminal Record Centre (LCRC) in Aliwal North and Lady Grey respectively on charges of operating a dagga plantation and numerous counts of dealing in drugs on 7 February 2022.
“Heeding a call about a farm that was operating as a dagga plantation, a number of purchases were successfully done and surveillance conducted at the farm,” Mgolodela said.
The team proceeded to the farm where they found the 35-year-old man, who is supposedly the consultant of the owner of the dagga farm.
The main purpose of the farm is to plant, cultivate, dry, and sell dagga.
The investigation led the team to Aliwal North where a 65-year-old man was arrested for numerous charges of dealing in dagga.