Five people aged 30 to 59 have been arrested after an illegal cannabis oil manufacturing plant was discovered in the Alberton area in Gauteng.

Police found cannabis oil and equipment worth an estimated R5 million during the operation on Monday.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said the Hawks’ Narcotics Enforcement Bureau, together with Crime Intelligence and the provincial Tactical Response Team, received a tip-off that a consignment of dagga was to be delivered in the Alberton area.

“Police kept surveillance at a positively identified residence in Alberton [on Monday] and pounced on the suspects allegedly operating a fully functional cannabis oil extraction process”.

“The investigation team together with Forensic Science [Laboratory] Services seized all cannabis oil extraction equipment with an estimated value of R5 million.”

The five people arrested are expected to face charges relating to the Medicines Act and the Drug Trafficking Act, as well as illegal drug manufacturing and dealing in drugs, when they appear in the Alberton Magistrate’s Court.

Mulamu also said more arrests cannot be ruled out as the investigation continued.