PMB ‘drug queen’: Spy testifies

2008-10-08 00:00

A Scorpions investigator who worked undercover to infiltrate Ramjini Chetty’s alleged drug-dealing syndicate in 2005 gave evidence in the regional court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

Gavin Jacob told magistrate Chris van Vuuren the “legend”, or alias, he used was “Kevin”.

He was involved with gathering intelligence from June 9 to August 27, 2005, the court heard. He was also present when the Scorpions raided the Queen Street drug dens on November 25, 2005, and pointed out some of the role-players.

Jacob told the court of numerous transactions when he purchased cocaine and mandrax from members of the syndicate, including Chetty, and three other accused, Surychand Maharaj (also known as Joe), Bongi Dlamini and Jessendren (Dhunia) Pillay.

The drugs he bought were accounted for and handed over to his handlers in the Scorpions to whom he reported every transaction.

In the course of the operation, he also frequented a “VIP” smoking room at one of Chetty’s two alleged drug dens at 21 Queen Street. There he pretended to smoke crack cocaine with other drug users.

Drug sales were also conducted from Chetty’s other premises at 19 Queen Street, the court heard.

Jacob testified that he befriended a customer in order to gain access.

At first he bought small “pieces” of crack cocaine for R50, then purchased a “quarter jaw” before suggesting that he wanted to buy a “full jaw” and asked to be taken to the “boss”.

Pillay accompanied him to 19 Queen Street and pressed a buzzer. Chetty answered and asked what he wanted. He told her he had a customer who wanted a “full jaw”.

Jacob testified that Chetty asked him if he was “a cop”. He laughed and asked her whether “they are bothering her”. She’d replied that they were.

He said a drug runner, Lungi (a state witness), and Pillay informed Chetty that he was a friend and a customer and Chetty then told him that a “full jaw” would cost R1 400.

Jacob then left, saying he would return with the money. While walking back with him, Pillay told him that he was getting a discount because he was with him and that Chetty usually charged R1 600 for a “full jaw”.

He said he returned later with the money. He was then given the cocaine wrapped in transparent plastic.

He said that when he asked Chetty for her cellphone number so that he could order cocaine if he needed it, she gave him Lungi’s and Bongi’s numbers to call.

Jacob said he told Pillay he intended to “cut” the cocaine and sell it in Durban and Estcourt.

The case is proceeding.

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