Cops raid shebeens

2016-07-18 12:16
Officers from the Combined Action Team haul an alleged shebeen operator into custody after he was found to be operating without a liquor license.

Officers from the Combined Action Team haul an alleged shebeen operator into custody after he was found to be operating without a liquor license. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - Police dealt a heavy blow to crime in Copesville and surrounding suburbs at the weekend, shutting down the illegal shebeens many criminals frequent.

The two-day operation also comprised of a road block on the R33, where 31 traffic-related offenders were fined.

On Friday night, officers from the Combined Action Team infiltrated the Masons and Haniville informal settlements, targeting known shebeens allegedly operating without liquor licenses.

Cloaked by darkness, the team tip-toed into the Masons settlement at about 9pm, listening closely for drunken shouts and clanking beer bottles.

Manoeuvreing between mud houses and dodging exposed electricity cables, the team finally spotted their target.

The officers stormed into the shebeen and hauled out the owner, who did not have a liquor license.

The team recovered a few crates of beer before moving to their next target.

After racing up a narrow, snaking road in Haniville, the officers burst into on one of the largest shebeens in the area, sending customers scurrying out the front gate.

Not convinced by the small consignment presented to them by the owner, the officers searched the make-shift beer hall and spotted a door that, according to the owner, leads to a separate room where tenants were living.

The officers tore down the door to find a small room stacked with crates of liquor as high as the ceiling.

It took two bakkies to haul the liquor, and the shebeen operator, to the Mountain Rise police station.

On the way back to the station, the officers were alerted to a distress call from security guards who had spotted two men stealing cables from a cellphone tower on Ohrtmann Road.

The duo had allegedly scaled a barbed wire fence and entered a small window at the base of the tower.

Using a single vehicle to remain inconspicuous, three officers slowly approached the tower via the bush alongside the Bayne’s Spruit river and confronted the alleged thieves.

The pair made a run for it and scaled over a wall into a resident’s property.

However, their escape was short-lived as a quick-thinking K9 unit officer, with his trusted four-legged sidekick, clambered over the wall behind them.

The dog eventually tackled both men and they were taken into custody.

At the roadblock, which was held earlier that night before the officers could infiltrate the shebeens, four men believed to be hijackers were arrested.

According to a police source, a metered taxi was pulled over at the roadblock and the passenger was found bleeding from a gunshot wound.

Police questioned the man and it is believed he told the officers that he was robbed by four men in the CBD. The man provided a description of his attacker’s vehicle but refused medical treatment.

CAT members raced to the Brookside Mall where the white Isuzu bakkie described to them was last spotted and found four men who were in possession of two guns, one of which was unlicensed.

It is believed the men may be linked to other cases of robbery and hijacking in the city.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  saps

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