Police have dealt the drug trade a massive blow after confiscating more than half a million Mandrax tablets from an underground bunker on the Cape Flats.
Cops say the huge stash has a street value of R26.4 million.
The raid was made on Sunday evening, when police in Khayelitsha discovered the underground bunker at a house in Block 33 in Harare.
Five suspects aged 20 to 54 were arrested for allegedly being found with 529 000 Mandrax tablets.
The bags of drugs filled the entire back of a police van.
Residents, who asked not to be named, tells the Daily Voice, they were aware of “some sort of drug activity” happening in the area, but did not realise the magnitude of the stash.
A 37-year-old woman said she often saw bags being delivered to the house. But the community kept quiet because the merchants fed their kids, she says.
“These guys are well-known to us all. They feed us and help with transport and school money for the children. We have light and paraffin and food.
“We cannot speak against them here. We are taken care of.”
A 67-year-old man says he was close to one of the arrested men and cannot believe he’s a mert.
“He is a good boy for his parents and cares for his grandfather and wives and children,” he says.
“He helps this community to thrive like no political party ever has. I am shocked that he has been drawn into this mess. He is innocent,” insists the tata.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut says the find has dealt a serious blow to the local drug trade.
“Our endeavours to root out the evil phenomena of drugs in this province resulted in the apprehension of five suspects aged 20, 39, 40, 43 and 54 last night in Harare for being in possession of 529 000 Mandrax tablets,” he says.
“Members of Harare conducted an intelligence-driven operation at an informal dwelling in Block 33 where they discovered an underground storage facility for the Mandrax under the dwelling. The seized drugs with an estimated street value of R26.4 million is regarded a significant blow to the drug trade which will now be further investigated.
“Once charged, the suspects are due to make a court appearance in Khayelitsha on a charge of dealing in drugs.
He added: “The Western Cape police management commended the members for their sterling work.”