Zululand Observer - Weekender

Serious jail time for drug dealer

- Tamlyn Jolly

A CONVICTED drug dealer and mastermind behind an elaborate drug traffickin­g operation will spend the next 15 years behind bars.

Maliki Erick Ngobeni (45) was sentenced on Monday by the Pongola Regional Court.

In May, 2017, Hawks members of the Richards Bay Serious Organised Crime unit reacted to a tip-off they had received about a vehicle travelling from the Golela border post towards Pongola.

Local police were alerted and the vehicle was intercepte­d on the N2 near Sitilo.

A search of the vehicle uncovered 145 bags of heroin powder, with a street value of R101-million.

Ngobeni and his passengers were immediatel­y arrested and the stash confiscate­d.

Investigat­ions revealed that the drugs were coming into South Africa from Mozambique and were destined for Johannesbu­rg.

Ngobeni’s bail was successful­ly opposed and he appeared in court numerous times before being found guilty and sentenced.

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