The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) in KwaZulu-Natal has obtained a forfeiture order from the Pietermaritzburg High Court for a farm (immovable property) described as Tigerkloof Farm in the Ingogo area near Newcastle. The farm, which is valued at around R1.2 million and is approximately 132 hectares, was allegedly used as a drug laboratory. This order follows a preservation order which was served earlier this year, in May.

The suspicious activity on the farm came to light after the DPCI followed up on information from an informer. During a search operation in August 2019, members from the South African Police Service Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) who were present, confirmed that the types of exhibits found on the farm are similar to those found at the scene of a clandestine drug lab.

The exhibits were then taken to the SAPS Pretoria FSL for chemical analysis, and 25kg of methamphetamine was found in some of the exhibits which were chemically analysed. Based on the evidence found on site, the state alleges that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Tigerkloof Farm was an instrumentality of an offence listed in Schedule 1 of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act, in this instance, the manufacture, supply, and possession of drugs and drug dealing activity.

On the execution of the search warrant, it was not possible to determine who was responsible for the manufacturing of the drugs therefore none of the persons found at Tigerkloof Farm were charged with any criminal offence.

The forfeiture order was obtained by State Advocate Nazreena Sayed. The farm will remain in the custody of the curator, who will be responsible for the sale thereof. The monies will be deposited into the Criminal Assets Recovery Account (CARA), for use in law enforcement and crime fighting initiatives.

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