South African Marijuana Millionaire Family Arrested – Five family members, a husband, wife, three sons & six others have been arrested for a hydro grow-op worth R5 million in Johannesburg & Hartbeespoort.
JOHANNESBURG – The Hawks arrested 11 people for growing large quantities of dagga in 10 houses and uncovered three hydroponic grow operations across Gauteng, said Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko.
Ramaloko said, “We were able to conduct these raids after months of surveillance and investigation .”
“We started the raid at 12 am and raided about 13 different houses and confiscated dagga along with manufacturing equipment worth millions.”
Dozens of heavily armed Hawks and Crime Intelligence officers stormed three farms in Hartbeespoort and nearby Hekpoort.
The father, who is considered a syndicate leader, were arrested before sun rise at their home in Bryanston, where they found cured dagga as well as R200 000 in cash.
The family’s pets have been confiscated and will be “taken care of”, Ramaloko said.
“Our main targets were five people — a husband and wife, along with their three sons.
“We arrested the husband and wife, their three sons, the sons’ wives and three of their friends who we suspect are also involved,” said Ramaloko.
“From what we have heard, the potency of these plants is immense. The demand, especially for this dagga, is huge,” an officer said.
Police seized computers and documents allegedly outlining the family’s international links and markets.
Confiscated documents showed that the family was selling the dagga overseas for between R70000 and R90000 a kilogram, he said.
“They were making millions from this operation.” For hours police photographed and documented growing “recipes”, seizing files containing information on things such as chemical formulas and growth techniques, before loading tons of equipment onto several flat-bed trucks along with more than 5000 plants, seedlings and seeds.
Ramaloko said the 11 are still in police custody and they would appear soon in the Johannesburg, Pretoria and Krugersdorp magistrate’s courts on charges growing and selling cannabis. By late last night police were still carrying out raids on other farms.
Photos: Graeme Hosken