Six members of drug syndicate sentenced to more that 140 years

Police are looking for Mr Emanuel (50c) Onyekanna.

Six members of a drug syndicate received harsh sentences at the Secunda District Court on Wednesday, 5 April.

These men were arrested on 19 August last year and were tried on various counts of drug possession, sale and manufacturing of drugs.

They were sentenced to a combined count of more than 140 years’ imprisonment, clearly indicating law enforcement’s zero tolerance stance on drug-related crimes.

The men were notorious drug dealers who worked in the greater Govan Mbeki Municipal area and were South African and Nigerian citizens.

Chibuzar Paul Ezekware (24) was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment for each of the three counts he was found guilty of.

He was also deemed to be unfit to posses a fire-arm and was ordered to pay an amount of R11500 to the state.

Samuel Okafor (34) was also sentenced to 12 years in jail for each of the three counts he was found guilty of, was deemed unfit to posses a firearm and was ordered to repay the state R4 800.

Ukandu Henry Ukaehbu (32) was deemed to be unfit to posses a firearm, was ordered to pay the state R2 600 and was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment for each of the two counts he was found guilty of.

Godwin Udalo Abunne (30) was also deemed unfit to posses a firearm and sentenced to a total of 36 years’ imprisonment for the three counts he was found guilty of and was ordered to repay the state R7 000.

Junior Okafor (24) was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment on one count and was deemed unfit to posses a firearm.

Innocent Akuziele was sentenced to a total of 18 years’ imprisonment on two counts, was deemed unfit to posses a firearm and was ordered to repay the state R1 800.

A seventh accused is still awaiting his trial on 10 May in the Evander Regional Court.

The six men were part of seven suspected members of a drug syndicate that was arrested as part of a joint operation between Secunda Crime Intelligence and the Secunda Hawks on 19 August 2016 during the Project 24 Operation.

According to the Hawks, the investigation into the syndicate had been going on for more than a year before the arrests were made, during which they gathered enough evidence to build watertight cases against the accused.

“During the operation, five vehicles, 13 cell phones, one electronic pocket scale to weigh drugs and a lot of cash used in the commission of their alleged crimes, were also seized by members of the Hawks,” said Capt Dineo Sekgotodi, provincial spokesman for the Hawks.

The national head of Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lt Gen Mthandazo Ntlemeza, has welcomed the sentence, saying the Hawks do not aim to arrest only but to secure convictions and ensure that justice is served.

“We are clamping down on drugs and all other serious crimes and criminals must be warned that we will send them to jail for a very long time.”

The Secunda Hawks are still looking for two suspects for crimes related to the same drug syndicate.

They are Messrs Chukwuemaka (Alex) Kingsley Ezenwa and Emanuel (50c) Onyekanna.

Contact W/O Ras at 017 634 7002 if you have information about the whereabouts of these two men.

Police are looking for Mr Chukwuemaka (Alex) Kingsley Ezenwa.

Police are looking for Mr Emanuel (50c) Onyekanna.

 

Also read

Evander Police accused of working with Nigerian drug dealers

Signs and symptoms of the use of Dagga and Nyaope

Drug syndicate in court

  AUTHOR
Willemien Aukema
Journalist

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