In two separate operations, police in KwaZulu Natal raided an illegal hydroponic grow op in Phoenix and an informal cannabis shop in Richards Bay, arresting a total of five people.
The Sowetan reports that there were two major cannabis busts in KwaZulu Natal just before Christmas.
According to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks), an illegal hydroponics cultivation facility was raided in Foresthaven in Phoenix near Durban on 22 December 2022. Hawks’ provincial spokesperson, Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo members of the Durban Serious Organised Crime Investigation team and Crime Intelligence conducted an “intelligence-driven operation” and searched the premises.
“During the search, 2.7 kilograms of hydroponic dagga with a street value of approximately R136 500 was found” said Capt Mhlongo. “The suspect was placed under arrest and charged with dealing in hydroponic dagga”.
On the same day, in an unrelated operation members of Richards Bay Serious Organised Crime Investigation “swooped into one of the shops at the Town Square Shopping Centre in Richards Bay, where an undercover operation was conducted”.
Capt Mhlongo said: “The members found pre-rolled hydroponic dagga cigarettes, hydroponic dagga slopes, and cannabis pets shampoo with a street value of approximately R200 000”.
Four suspects aged between 23 and 47 were subsequently arrested. They were charged for dealing in cannabis in the Richards Bay Magistrate’s Court .