KWAZULU-NATAL – The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation has welcomed the sentence handed down to a suspect convicted for drug trafficking.

Robert Makhumulo (52) was sentenced to 20 years by the Pongola Regional Court yesterday.

On 24 January 2018, Hawks members in Richards Bay received information from Crime Intelligence about a truck that was carrying drugs from Swaziland to Johannesburg. A sting operation was conducted at Golela Port of Entry. A truck fitting the said description was stopped and searched by the team.

During the search, 200 kilograms of heroin powder with a street value of R140 million was found concealed in the false compartments of a truck. Makhumulo was subsequently arrested and charged accordingly.

Speaking following the conviction, Hawks Provincial Head Major General Jabulani Zikhali said: “We hope the sentence handed out acts as a warning to those people involved in the trafficking of drugs in South Africa. We remain committed to tackling those concerned in the production, supply and trafficking of illegal drugs. Anyone found involved in the possession or supply of illegal drugs should expect to be dealt with robustly by the Hawks and the courts.

Meanwhile, in another separate case, three suspects aged 31, 38 and 57 were arrested by the Pietermaritzburg Hawks members assisted by Provincial Crime Intelligence and Pietermaritzburg K9 unit for drug dealing.

The trio were nabbed in Newcastle area yesterday in a undercover operation. They are due to appear in the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court today.