South African Drug Labs Raided

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JOHANNESBURG– Police in South Africa say they have raided two upscale houses where illegal drugs were being manufactured

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Police Col. Vish Naidoo said drugs and drug-making equipment worth about $12 million were seized in the raid in a posh northern Johannesburg area early Wednesday. Five people were arrested.

He says larger illegal drug labs have been found elsewhere in South Africa but “this is huge for us” because the facilities were found behind the high walls and gates of crime-protected elite suburbs.

He said: “It shows us drugs lords don’t only use poor and secluded areas.”

The equipment was being used to make mandrax, or methaqualone, once a brand-name sedative banned in 1977 for its addictive and powerful qualities and its use as a recreational drug, often mixed with marijuana.

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