Scared drug dealers give away stash
Kimberley - Organised drug syndicates in the city have gone to ground following the arrests of four men and one minor, believed to be linked to a high-profile Kimberley drug dealer.
The arrests, on September 28, apparently sparked fear amongst the city’s drug dealers, according to sources. Large quantities of Mandrax, “tik”, and other narcotics were “given away for free” in the wake of the arrests, as dealers feared another round of police sting operations.
The five were arrested during an operation which saw the police swoop in on two houses in West End and De Beers. They were all granted bail.
According to information, the runners worked for a renowned city drug dealer, and that the drugs were allegedly manufactured at the houses using rat poison, acetone and other poisonous substances. The police could not confirm this.
The DFA’s records show that the police in Kimberley and Galeshewe, as well as in other areas, are now raiding suspected drug dealers on a weekly basis, with busts occurring two to three times a week at times.
Since the end of May this year, the police have confiscated drugs with an estimated street value of nearly R1 million. The drugs confiscated since then include at least:
• 580 Mandrax tablets;
• 226 units of dagga (55 bags, 77 “pokes” , 76 “fingers” , 14 “arms” , two miscellaneous bundles, a basin filled with loose dagga and one plant);
• Eight pieces, one bag and one other unit of heroin; and
• 25 bags and one other unit of “tik”.
Ecstasy tablets were also confiscated. These figures exclude a separate bust in the Bergsig area near Springbok in the Namaqua district on September 6, where a woman was found in possession of drugs with an estimated street value of R60 250.
The woman was allegedly found in possession of 284 Mandrax tablets, six grammes of Mandrax powder, 108 grammes of “tik” powder and some cash.
Two other suspects were arrested for possession of drugs during a province-wide sting operation in September this year. A month earlier, the police in Galeshewe destroyed confiscated dagga with an estimated street value of R300 000.
At the time, the police pointed to “hot-spots” in the area, including the Dingaan Hostels, the Greater Number Two and the Santa Centre. The DFA’s records show that Recreation Road, which straddles the Floors and Colville areas, is also a potential “hot-spot”.
At least three drug busts were made near Recreation Road between June 1 and July 15 this year and at least six suspects were arrested.
Large quantities of Mandrax tablets and other drugs were confiscated and police said they were investigating the possibility that drugs were being sold at schools in the area.
These events took place just weeks before the Provincial Substance Abuse Strategy was launched on June 21. At the launch, Acting Premier Grizelda Cjiekella cited research that shows that in 2008, the Province had the highest prevalence of learners using dagga before the age of 13, and the highest prevalence of learners who have used cocaine, compared to other provinces.
Cjiekella said the strategy was to ensure a co-ordinated approach amongst provincial departments and the police in combating substance abuse.
Northern Cape police spokesman, Lieutenant Sergio Kock, confirmed that there has been an increase in drug-related arrests in the Province during the 2011/12 financial year. He said that drug abuse is often linked to other crimes, and said specialised units are constantly involved in covert operations to clamp down on drug dealers and determine the routes and means of transport being used.
“Apart from these investigations, the police in the Northern Cape will continue to request the community to provide information with regards to drug sales and trafficking. The police use this information and the result thereof has assured an increase in arrests.”
Drug abuse can be seen as one of the inhibiting factors for the commission of crime. Drug users and abusers commit crime to sustain their habit and also commit heinous crime when intoxicated with these substances. The substance abuse strategy launched earlier this year can be seen as an integrated and proactive approach aimed at fighting the scourge of drugs and alcohol abuse in the Province and is supported completely by the SAPS, he said.
“The SAPS will continue in its efforts to combat drug abuse and keep our society safe and secure,” Kock said.
Meanwhile, the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca) in July highlighted that the Province had the highest number of teenagers using drugs and alcohol, with teenagers between the ages or 15 and 18 cited as the most vulnerable to substance abuse.
Sanca described the levels of substance abuse in the Province as having reached “epidemic proportions”.
It is believed that while some drugs are manufactured in Kimberley, others are brought to the city from the Eastern Cape and the former Transkei areas, as well as other parts of the country. Kimberley is believed to be the central holding point for narcotics which are then transported to other parts of the district.
This story first appeared in the Diamond Fields Advertiser