Henry Nwagu (38), a Nigerian national and Noluvoyo Sali sentenced by the Balfour Regional Court last Friday following their arrest by members of the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation Secunda.
The team was assisted by members of Secunda Crime Intelligence, Secunda SAPS and Secunda bike squad on February 9, 2015 during the search and seizure operation at Toon Van Der Heever street in Secunda.
According to the Hawks, on the arrival at the house, the team found a fully equipped operational drug lab. There were chemicals, ephedrine, weighing scales, fans, big fridges, cash and drugs valued to an estimated R380 000. The total value of the equipment and chemicals was estimated at R1.5 million. Accused number two and three were arrested at the crime scene and accused number one was arrested later.
“The three accused remained in custody from 2015 until in 2017 when the court finalised the case and accused number two Arinze Collin Ngene was not found guilty and he was released. In 2019, Sali was released on bail pending sentencing while Nwagu remained in custody and their case was remanded to February 5, 2021 for sentencing. The pair accused were sentenced as follows:
Accused No: 1 Henry Nwagu (38) was sentenced to 27 years direct imprisonment.
Count 1 -Manufacturing of drugs – 10 years direct imprisonment
Count 2 – Dealing and Possession of drugs – 15 years direct imprisonment
Count 3: being an illegal immigrant- 12 months imprisonment
Count 4: being an illegal immigrant- 12 months imprisonment . The accused was found to be having four passports. Two Lesotho passports and two Nigerian passports
Accused No: 3 – Noluvoyo Sali 32 years South African citizen was also sentenced to 27 years direct imprisonment as follows:
Count 1 – Manufacturing of drugs- 10 years direct imprisonment
Count 2 – Dealing and Possession of drugs-15 years direct imprisonment.
Both accused were declared unfit to possess firearms. The court forfeited the cash and the equipment to the state.