Another blow to Free State 'drug cartel'


The Hawks in the Free State arrested seven alleged drug dealers in Bloemfontein following an operation started in 2017. The Hawks in the Free State arrested seven alleged drug dealers in Bloemfontein following an operation started in 2017.
Image: 123RF/ scanrail

The seventh member of a massive Free State drug syndicate appeared in the Bloemfontein magistrate's court on Friday after his arrest by the Hawks’ serious organised crime investigation unit.

The 30-year-old suspect is the latest member of an alleged Nigerian syndicate to be collared after six of its members were arrested in March.

The investigating team was praised by Free State Hawks head Maj-Gen Kubandran Moodley who said the unit’s work would have a lasting impact on the distribution of drugs in the province.

Hawks spokesperson Warrant Officer Lynda Steyn said the arrests followed a project-driven investigation emanating from crime intelligence gathered on a drug dealing syndicate operating in Bloemfontein.

Members of the alleged syndicate who appeared in court on March 24 were Moses Igbo, Chidi Ernest Eke, Steven Obiora Chime, John Emeka Offor Ekwe, Nwangu Christopher Ngoza, and Jonn Obiasor.

All six men have yet to make a successful bid for bail and remain in custody.

“The investigators established that the syndicate was distributing large quantities of drugs, including ecstasy, cocaine, tik and CAT to a large customer base in the greater Free State. The said distribution channels were co-ordinated by the arrested syndicate members who would, in turn, share the proceeds,” said Steyn.

“The successful takedown operation during March 2020 was designed to counter the ongoing threat [of] organised crime fuelled by narcotics use and trafficking ...

“This law enforcement team has, over a period of many months, taken direct aim at organised crime and together they have made our community safer by taking dangerous drugs off the streets,” said Moodley.






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