BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
A Victoria Falls safari camp manager has been arrested after he was found with a huge stash of illegal drugs and equipment police believe was used to manufacture some of the narcotics.
Cornelious Smit (62), A Mabalengwe Safaris camp manager, was arrested on Thursday after he was found with dagga and cannabis oil, among other drugs.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda told VicFallsLive that Smit from Bvakacha Farm in Matetsi Unit One was nabbed following a tipoff last month that he was “illegally dealing in drugs and possessing dangerous drugs as well as processing harmful liquids”
Banda said Victoria Falls police dispatched an intelligence operative, who secretly followed Smit’s activities until his arrest after indications that he was in the process of manufacturing the drugs from his house.
“Acting on the tipoff, a warrant of search and seizure was obtained from the Victoria Falls magistrate court and on the same day around 12 noon, the Victoria Falls district team comprising of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and Narcotics, Support Unit and Canine led by Assistant Inspector Tavengwa visited the accused’s place of residence,” Banda said.
“ Upon arrival the team produced a search warrant into his five roomed house and recovered a 25 litre container with two litres of ethanol for processing cannabis, one axe with wooden handle, two by 20 litres distilling containers for harmful liquids, one condenser steel spirits serial number 65821, twenty litre electrical cane, two by five millilitres (processed cannabis oil, 600 mls cannabis oil, 100 mls imonnelo oil for processing cannabis, 10 litre harmful liquid, two plastic tubes and raw dagga weighing 12 kilogramnes.”
Banda said Smit was arrested, but was, however, issued with summons on Saturday) by the Victoria Falls magistrates court prosecutors who ordered him to report to court on Monday as police were still conducting further investigations.
Smit is being charged with Contravening Section 5 of the Harmful Liquids Act Chapter 9:10 “Manufacturing of Harmful Liquids”.