Johannesburg - Three men suspected of running a drug syndicate in the country were caught with 185kg of etherdrine (used to make methamphetamines) in Malvern, Johannesburg on Sunday, National Crime Intelligence officers said.
The etherdrine with the street value of R14.8m had been stored in large black rubbish bins while some was packaged in boxes of MAQ washing powder, said Senior Superintendent Tummi Golding.
"We've been tracking the drug syndicate since the beginning of the year due to an influx of drugs at port of entries in the country," said Golding.
She said the men could be linked to the R180m worth of etherdrine - the largest discovery in the country so far - found at the OR Tambo international airport earlier this year.
The crime intelligence officers also confiscated a 9mm pistol found in the men's property, as well as two police authorisation cards.
Link to Krugersdorp police officers
The discovery of the police cards, said Golding, could be linked to the four members of the Krugersdorp Organised Crime Unit - Dumisane Jwara, 45, Captain Landro Mokgosani, 40, Captain Victor Jwili, 38, and Captain Sakhepi Caiphus Shange, 43.
The four officers face charges of theft, fraud, racketeering and drug dealing.
They had allegedly been stealing drugs seized at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, and selling them to drug dealers.
Golding said however that one of the officers, Shange, died in prison on Friday.
"He said he was sick... he started vomiting and died while being taken to hospital," she said.
She said police will also be investigating how the two Nigerian men and a Congolese got hold of the MAQ boxes.
"They allegedly packaged the drugs inside for distribution so we are investigating to check who supplied them," she said.
The three men, aged between 26 and 33, are expected to appear in the Cleveland Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.