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Pretoria pharmacist arrested for allegedly running a drug lab

A 55-year-old pharmacist and his partner have been arrested for allegedly operating a drug laboratory in Vasfontein, Hammanskraal, just outside Pretoria, reports News24. The man, his 52-year-old life partner and their 38-year-old employee were arrested after an array of steroid tablets and intravenous drugs were found at their farm house.

The report says Tshwane North Crime Intelligence and the Soshanguve K9 Units swooped in on the lab confiscating large amounts of finished products, chemicals, machines including a tablet presser, a mixer and a tablet-coating machine for colouring of tablets. Police also recovered two pistols, one of which was unlicensed, a loaded shotgun and several rounds of ammunition.

"The conditions under which the steroids were being manufactured was uncontrolled, unconducive and could potentially, if not already, be a health risk to those in the area of the operation as well as those consuming the products," police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo is quoted in the report as saying.

Naidoo said that documents seized at the lab indicate that drugs were being supplied to a criminal. He said the person procuring the drugs was a known and had previously been arrested for drug related crimes. "Police are currently searching for this individual."

Naidoo said in the report that all three suspects were in police custody for contravention of the Medicines Control Act. "They have allegedly been manufacturing and distributing a Schedule 6 drug in an uncontrolled manner."

National Police Commissioner Khehla Sithole said drug labs on farms seemed to be a growing modus operandi. He said that a few months ago, a similar multi-million rand mandrax laboratory was discovered in Harding. "I have tasked the investigation team to engage the Asset Forfieture Unit in an effort to seize all property to the State in terms of the Proceeds of Crime Act."

[link url="https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/pics-pharmacist-nabbed-steroid-tablets-guns-and-ammunition-found-at-pretoria-drug-lab-20190321"]News24 report[/link]

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