The Mpumalanga MEC for Community Safety, Security and Liaison, Mr Vusi Shongwe, has praised the team that steered an intelligence-driven operation which led to the arrest of 16 Mozambican and Zimbabwean nationals for illegally operating a drug laboratory, as well as a refinery at Klipspruit farm near Delmas.
The suspects are aged between 15 and 43 years old.
The team, which comprised of the National Crime Intelligence Unit, Ekurhuleni East Crime Intelligence Unit, Middelburg K9 Unit, Middelburg DPCI, Delmas SAPS and members of neighbourhood watch, made the arrest on Tuesday.
The team investigated five buildings on a farm, where some equipment was discovered.
In the fifth building, which was allegedly used as a drug laboratory, the team recovered some equipment used in illegal activities.
The team also recovered a TLB, which was reportedly stolen in Gauteng. Three other vehicles, believed to have been used during illicit activities, were also seized for further investigation.
MEC Shongwe hailed the team, saying such operations should be the order of the day as part of efforts to curb crime in the province.
He also thanked the neighbourhood watch group for working with the police to expose the “evil nest”.