How citizen sleuthing helped shut down big Durban North brothel

2014-11-10 00:00

A SECRETIVE meeting at a Durban airport hanger sealed the fate of one of Durban’s biggest brothel operators.

And it was the evidence of a Durban North councillor and mystery Durban North sleuth that, in this cloak and dagger affair, gave the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) the upper hand to nail what is believed to be one of the “big five” brothels operating in Durban.

Evidence gathered included documented allegations of Greenwood Park police officers — whose names are allegedly known to the NIA — soliciting bribes from the illegal prostitute ring.

Dean Macpherson — who has subsequently taken up a post in national parliament — said the brothel on Grosvenor Crescent was first reported to Greenwood Park SAPS three years ago.

“But as much as we reported the sound of screaming girls, partying and men arriving late at night on the quiet street, the less was done. I reported it to Home Affairs, the Hawks, the municipality and even SARS but no one would touch it, including the media,” said Macpherson.

In a November 6 night raid on the house — which purported to be a guest house — 14 Thai women believed to be sex workers, two clients and the alleged kingpin were arrested.

“A while back a resident who had done extensive investigative work on the brothel and its owner showed me a document detailing police movements in and out of the house and information on the owner, but still no one was interested in our pleas for help,” said Macpherson.

And just as they thought the battle was lost Macpherson received a call from the NIA.

“They asked to meet me inside an aircraft hanger at Virginia Airport. My source handed over his dossier which we believe gave the NIA the lead that they needed. His document, which I saw, documented the arrival and leaving of police vehicles, details on the brothel kingpin and details of the operation. I am not sure of his agenda but his information was solid. The NIA went undercover and monitored the kingpin’s movements,” said Macpherson.

He said the source did not “want to speak to the media”.

The owners of the home, who live next door, said they had recently served the brothel notice after “suspecting” the tenant’s activities. “My wife had previously run a guest house on the premises, so when they told us they were doing the same it was not a problem.

“But recently we realised what was going on and handed them notice. They were to move out at the month end,” the husband said.

SAPS KZN spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said no further arrests have been made or any known charges laid against Greenwood Park police personnel.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate Court today .

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