13 arrested in drug and stolen car syndicate takedown

2018-01-25 22:44
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula. (File, Netwerk24)

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula. (File, Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – Thirteen people, including five "kingpins", have been arrested after an undercover police operation cracked open a syndicate moving drugs and hijacked vehicles, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Thursday.

"These criminals have been masquerading as normal and honest business people who own buses, taxis, butcheries and farms," said Mbalula in a statement following the arrests.

"They are respected people of the community while they are destroying the future of our kids. We can't stand [idle] while the future of our kids gets destroyed."

"Operation Damage" involved undercover officers working in the "belly" of the underworld as they investigated dealers in Mandrax, tik and other drugs in operations from Cape Town to King William's Town, East London, Mdantsane, Peddie and Port Alfred.

Drugs were initially transported by buses and taxis owned by a "target" in Cape Town or Gauteng, and then distributed to locations in the Eastern Cape.

This changed, and the syndicate switched to using their own and hired vehicles.

'Now the shift is to the kingpins'

Speaking in a green pasture in the Eastern Cape with cows in the background, and a suburb in the distance, Mbalula said the police have shifted focus to catching the kingpins who organise and finance these activities.

He had conducted a walkabout at a drug den that was disguised as a farm where criminals were known to bring stolen vehicles and traffic drugs. 

"Now the shift is to the kingpins, the real mastermind, the guys who plan the operations, the people who are in charge of criminality in our country, [while] many of our youth are in jail because they are serving time on their behalf while they enjoy the fruits of their criminality," said Mbalula in an interview broadcast on Periscope.

"Who could have thought there is criminal operations going on here? You think people are doing the right thing, they are not. They are busy with criminality."

National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole said at the same briefing that those involved were contaminating society.

The police investigation would establish whether there were any deaths associated with the vehicles that had been hijacked.

Police had so far seized Mandrax tablets and tik bought in undercover operations and vehicles that had been hijacked.

Read more on:    fikile mbalula  |  crime

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.