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NC drug den demolished

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“The house was a magnet for bad elements”

A SUSPECTED drug den was demolished after three accused, who were operating from the house in Upington, were sentenced to a collective 57 years’ imprisonment for racketeering and drug dealing.

Hawks provincial spokesperson Nomthandazo Mnisi said the house at 10 Carlton Street, Upington had gained notoriety as one of the worst havens for drug addicts and dealers.

She said that the accused, Uzuma Uka Phillip Chinedu, 37, and Izuchukwu Johnson Obi, 37, were sentenced to a collective 57 years’ direct imprisonment in the Upington Magistrate’s Court on Friday, February 28.

“The pair were arrested in March 2017 by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit during a project-driven investigation aimed at addressing drug dealing in the Upington area.

“They were involved in the selling and distribution of drugs that were transported from Gauteng to Upington. A couple of drug transactions were also made which resulted in their arrest.”

Mnisi said Chinedu was sentenced to nine years for racketeering, 15 years for dealing in drugs, 15 years for corrupt activities and an additional one year for being in the country illegally.

“He was effectively sentenced to spend 40 years in jail.”

She added that Obi was sentenced to six years for racketeering, 10 years for dealing in drugs and one year for being in the country illegally.

“He was sentenced to an effective 17 years in prison.”

The provincial head of the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (Hawks), Major-General Kholekile Galawe, welcomed the sentences and believed it was aiding in the fight against crime and drugs.

“The house was a magnet for bad elements. Both the demolition of the house and the sentence, handed down by the Upington Magistrate’s Court, is testament to the commitment of the Hawks in removing those responsible for selling and distributing drugs in our communities,” Galawe said