Illegal shebeens closed after murders

2016-09-21 06:00
PHOTO: SUPPLIEDMountain Rise station commander Brigadier Boxer Pillay hauls a bag of liquor out of an illegal  liquor outlet in the Swapo informal settlement near Copesville where two men were murdered at the weekend.

PHOTO: SUPPLIEDMountain Rise station commander Brigadier Boxer Pillay hauls a bag of liquor out of an illegal liquor outlet in the Swapo informal settlement near Copesville where two men were murdered at the weekend.

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THE police swooped on illegal shebeens in Pietermaritzburg, closing down six of the illegal drinking establishments at the weekend.

Mountain Rise police infiltrated informal settlements in the Copesville area­, targeting shebeens, which are believed to be the root of violent crimes in the area.

The intelligence-driven operation resulted in six illegal liquor outlets being shut down, and two of their owners being taken into custody.

The move comes after two murders in the area at the weekend, which are believed to have stemmed from drunken and disorderly behaviour in the shebeens.

In the first case, a man was stabbed to death in the vicinity of a shebeen in the Swapo B section during the early hours of Saturday morning.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joshua Maistry said a woman, who was using a pit toilet outside the shebeen heard a man screaming that he had been stabbed.

The woman hurried off to call an ambulance while the man, who had three stab wounds in the back, fell down and died.

Police search and rescue officers were called to retrieve the man’s body and he was declared dead by paramedics who arrived shortly afterwards.

The second murder took place 24 hours later in the Swapo A section.

Maistry said a resident was walking home when he came across a body lying on a pathway.

The body was covered in blood and had sustained several stab wounds to the arm and neck.

With both incidents occurring in the vicinity of illegal liquor outlets, a team of Mountain Rise police station’s crime prevention officers joined the cluster’s Crime Intelligence Unit to take down the shebeens.

Under the command of station commissioner Brigadier Boxer Pillay and Crime Intelligence Captain Rumen Maistry, the team banged down the doors of the shebeens, arresting their owners and confiscating the liquor.

Two shebeen owners were arrested for dealing in liquor without a licence, and four other shebeens were closed.

Maistry said about R25 000 worth of liquor was seized.

“Mountain Rise police are working around the clock to trace the criminals who have committed these violent acts of murder,” Maistry said.

Anyone with information on these cases should contact Brigadier Pillay at 082 418 2018.

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