NATIONAL NEWS -
A suspected mastermind of an international drug-smuggling operation, who was arrested last year in Fourways, was extradited to the United States on Thursday 20 June to face charges of drug trafficking, Fourways Review reports.
According to a statement released by the South African Police Service, “Edwin Elochukwu Anyaoku (54), was arrested in a joint police investigation by the Hawks’ South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (Saneb) and Crime Intelligence (Counter Narcotics) and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which resulted in the seizure of 29 kilograms of heroin worth more than R6 million.
“Anyaoku was arrested with other two suspects, due to appear at the Randburg Regional Court on 16 July.”
The investigation into the operation started in 2017.
An undercover operation was set where Anyaoku allegedly agreed to supply heroin. Anyaoku brought 29 kilograms of heroin and after the purchase, he was arrested together with his colleagues.
“A request was received from the Justice Department of the United States of America for the extradition of Anyaoku late last year.
“The extradition hearing took place in December last year and Anyaoku decided to waive his right to appeal against the extradition. In April this year, the extradition was authorised by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Michael Masutha and Anyaoku was extradited to the US with the assistance of Pretoria Interpol office,” the police said in the statement.
Speaking to the media, Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed the matter, “The suspect was trafficking drugs to the US and so the Justice Department of the United States of America requested that the suspect should be extradited because they feel that they have enough evidence against him, so the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development authorised the extradition.
Mulaudzi concluded, “At the moment, I do not have the exact date for his court appearance.”