‘Den of iniquity’ stirs public’s anger

2017-02-09 06:01
The abandoned building in front of a taxi rank on Ireland Street in Verulam that drugs users and prostitutes have taken over.  Photo: andile sithole

The abandoned building in front of a taxi rank on Ireland Street in Verulam that drugs users and prostitutes have taken over. Photo: andile sithole

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THE mushrooming of brothels in town is caused by the high number of abandoned buildings in Verulam.

This is according to a local civic association and Verulam SAPS after another building has also become a den for prostitutes and drug users.

Last week Verulam SAPS arrested 16 suspects who were found in the building. All were found in possession of drugs, and others were found in possession of weapons.

Chairperson of Verulam Civic Association Vish Roopnarain said the association has been inundated with calls from the public reporting that drug addicts and prostitutes have moved to a new building.

“We want the building sorted out. I called the ward councillor [Johnson Chetty] to trace the owner of the building.
“The owner has to secure the building because it has become a hiding place for thugs. We can confirm we have received complaints from the community that prostitutes and drug addicts are occupying the building.”

Coastal Weekly visited­ the area last Friday to talk to the public about the situation and a group of unidentified men were seen smoking inside the abandoned building.

A taxi driver, who did not want to be named, confirmed to have seen drug addicts and prostitutes in the building.

“It’s dangerous to go into the building as some of the guys are armed.”

Chetty said they have received complaints from the public.

“We are working around the clock to locate the owner of the building. According to the public the building is occupied by drug addicts.
“We are working on it and once everything is finalised the public will be informed.”

Police spokesperson in Verulam Captain Mark Prakasim said: “Police raided the building recently and 16 suspects were arrested who were in possession of drugs and knives. The arrests were made in one day.”

Prakasim said the police raid the building three times a week and often find suspects inside.

“The suspects were arrested and charged for being in possession of drugs and weapons. The suspects are due to appear in court.”

Last month the Weekly published an article about the abandoned building in Wick Street that was occupied by drug addicts and prostitutes. Shortly thereafter that the building owner sealed it up.

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