TEN ALLEGED CRIMINAL GROUP DEALING IN DRUGS REMANDED IN CUSTODY FOR MORE THAN TWENTY CHARGES OF DEALING AND POSSESSION OF DRUGS, CORRUPTION, ESCAPING FROM LAWFUL CUSTODY, RESISTING ARREST AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
MPUMALANGA – Chibuzo Chicozie Ogbunkwu
Don (35), Okereke Valentine Okwudiri (35), Kadima Remy(29), Male Mkolo(33), Mukembani Justin Kasindo(34), RudeA ngeKishuke(24), Bongiwe Manengela(41), Enewere David (34), Mwambaza Hamisa(31) and David Chicoloko(26) were remanded in custody by the Bethal Magistrate Court on Friday 30 July 2021.
The nine foreign nationals and one local were arrested by the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation team Mpumalanga assisted by Forensic Science Laboratory, Crime Intelligence, Tactical Response Team, Public Order Policing and SAPS Bethal during the clampdown operation which emanated from a major investigation by the Hawks and Crime Intelligence since June 2020 addressing drug challenges in Bethal.
It is alleged that in June 2020, information was received by the team about the criminal group dealing in drugs around Secunda and Bethal. Intelligence-driven information gathering was conducted and presented before court resulting in the arrest of the suspects. During the arrest, cash and drugs were confiscated for further investigation.
One of the accused David Chicoloko (26), who was not part of the said investigation,(ADHOC), was arrested for illegal immigration, he was found guilty and sentenced to an R1500 fine or three months imprisonment further ordered to be deported to his original country on the 09 July 2021 by the same court.
The case is postponed to 06 July 2021 due to the unavailability of the interpreter and Legal Aid. All accused were remanded in custody.