BuzzSouthAfrica learnt from the South African Police Service (SAPS) that some Nigerian drug dealers in the country have bagged 105 years imprisonment.
According to SAPS, seven Nigerian drug dealers were sentenced and convicted to 105 years imprisonment for dealing in drugs on Thursday after they were found guilty on 12 October 2016.
Confirming this, the Gauteng Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) Major General Prince Mokotedi welcomed the judgement handed down by the Benoni Magistrates Court against the seven suspects for drug dealing.
Mokotedi praised Hawks members saying: “this is indeed a welcomed precedent set by our courts and this will help our efforts to combat drug trafficking a great deal.
“We are proud of our team’s efforts in ensuring a successful prosecution in this matter. Such convictions will motivate our members to work even harder. From now on, drug dealers will feel the full might of the law, we are more determined to fight this scourge,” he vowed.
The convicts, Valentine Chigbo Okoye (36), Patrick Chime Uche (38), Chucks Ugo Thomas (37), Emeka Azodo (40), Chinaemelum Uba (24), and Chucku Imeka Ekwemozok (34) were arrested after Hawk’s Serious Organised Crime members acted on a tip-off in October 2014.
The Nigerian drug dealers were caught packaging heroin worth an estimated value of R214 000, into small wrappings for distribution in Crystalpark Benoni.
Following their arrest, the drug dealers tried severally to apply for bail but were denied as they were considered flight risks. They were each sentenced to an effective fifteen (15) years each without an option of any fine, and the combined sentenced totalled 105 years.
Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa has applauded a joint operation that led to the interception of ATM bombers in Howick.
Members of the Hawks, K9 Unit and Special Task Force Unit were acting on intelligence with regards to suspects wanted for their involvement in a police murder, ATM bombings and armed robberies when they learnt that some suspects were planning to bomb ATMs in Howick.
SAPS narrated that “the Special Task Force attempted to stop the two identified vehicles along the R617…The suspects opened fire on Special Task Force members using AK47 rifles and an R5 rifle.
“A gun battle ensued resulting in eight suspects being fatally wounded and one injured.
“Three AK47 assault rifles, one R5 rifle and four 9mm pistols were recovered in the suspect’s possession. (Also,) two hijacked motor vehicles were also recovered (with) a bag of already primed commercial explosives.”
Langa describe the interception of the gang as a major boost for Safer Festive Season Operations.
“The citizens and businesses in this province are much safer as a result of this intervention. It is fortunate that such multi-disciplinary operations are yielding results and curtailing the shopping spree of criminal gangs,” Langa remarked.