Cops’ hard work pays off

2013-08-03 00:00

IT took eight months of undercover work. Yesterday police finally swooped on the Northdale properties of a Pietermaritzburg couple believed to be one of the province’s biggest drug dealers.

The pair were arrested, along with eight others, and are understood to be the alleged drug runners.

Those arrested ranged from ages 41 to 53 and included two women.

They are expected to appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s court on Monday.

Yesterday’s early morning raid was part of a national police plan to purge the country’s streets of drugs, said police spokesperson Joey Jeevan.

“All of those arrested had sold drugs to undercover policemen,” she said.

According to reports, the couple had just finished their morning prayer for Ramadan when police struck.

It was a scene straight out of a Hollywood movie for the Northdale community.

The commotion drew the attention of children walking to school, people driving to work and neighbours, who were promptly told by police to go inside their homes.

A neighbour, holding a baby on her hip, was told by a policeman: “You’re not watching a movie, go back inside.”

To another, he said: “Where is your pozzie? Go and drink tea … you are not part of my operation.”

The raid began in Mars Crescent and moved up to Reservoir Road. A total of six houses were searched.

Armed police surrounded the houses and secured the premises, before the crime scene investigator and dogs were sent in to search for drugs.

Drugs were found and seized, as well as thousands of rand in cash and a stash of jewellery.

Alcohol, which was allegedly being sold illegally, was found in one of the premises. A tuck shop on the property is believed to have been used as a front.

The massive operation was the result of a combined effort of the South African Police Services, Pietermaritzburg and provincial crime intelligence units, the Pietermaritzburg Cluster drug team and the Hawks.

They were supported by the Pietermaritzburg K9 and asset forfeiture units.

Cluster commander Major-General Parbathi Maharaj warned that the police would continue with their good work to ensure that those dealing with drugs were caught and arrested.

He urged the community to co-operate with police by providing information that would lead to the arrest of more drug dealers.

The Daily News reported yesterday that several Pietermaritzburg policemen were under investigation for having offered “protection” to the couple over the past few years.

However, this could not be confirmed by Jeevan.

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