Dagga plantation found in Johannesburg suburb

Johannesburg - Four people arrested after the discovery of a dagga processing operation in Westdene will appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Monday, Gauteng police said.

The men, aged between 29 and 44, were arrested in a separate house in Melville on Friday evening, following the discovery of the dagga in the backyard of the house in 4th Avenue, Westdene, earlier on Friday, Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.

"They were arrested in a house where the dagga was found in a refined form and in different stages of processing," said Dlamini.

"It was a very sophisticated plantation in a laboratory form where different equipment [was] used."

The equipment included lights, back-up batteries, plant pots, manure and different types of chemicals.

Dlamini said the operation and stock was believed to be valued at thousands of rands.

"It is believed that this sophisticated dagga plantation was the work of a syndicate dealing in dagga and other drugs in Johannesburg," said Dlamini.

"There is a possibility that part of the syndicate's market is the students in the surrounding universities and night clubs."

Police were still searching for the owners of the house as nobody was found inside the house during the raid.

The men would face charges of dealing in dagga.