R1.5m North Beach drug bust

Some of the R1.5m worth of drugs seized in a police operation at North Beach. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

Labeling it a “massive breakthrough in our war against drug pedeling”, police yesterday arrested an alleged drug kingpin and seized more than R1.5-million worth of drugs in an all-day operating in Durban’s North Beach.

A statement released by the police this afternoon (Thursday , 1.30pm) said information gathered pointed officers to various drug runners in the city. Starting at 10am on Wednesday, police tracked down five alleged dealers, all in their late 20s, and arrested them for possession of heroin.

The statement reads that the men were questioned and police decided to stake out the area – a tactic that eventually paid off. At about 8.30pm, another man was arrested in possession of 400 straws of heroin. He was then questioned.

“This suspect led police to another man who was allegedly found to be carrying six thousand straws of heroin. Further investigations led to the team raiding a flat, which belongs to the suspect… They seized a number of plastic packets and a 5l plastic bucket containing a large quantity of tablets, capsules, straws and powders,” said SAPS spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker.

Police believe that the power was combined with a bulking agent and then turned into mandrax tablets.

In total, 6 400 straws of heroin were seized, 1 750 mandrax tablets, 335 capsules with mandrax powder, 1 850 straws of mandrax and 35 plastic parcels, each containing +/- 50g of mandrax powder, was seized. The 5l bucket contained about 2.5kg of heroin.

Police officers go through the seized drugs. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

“The total street value of all the drugs seized exceeds one and a half million rands,” Naicker said.

Police also impounded a luxury motor vehicle and confiscated R48 000 found on the premises, believed to be the proceeds from the sale of drugs. Various pieces of equipment that were used to manufacture, process and package the drugs were also taken.

They will all appear in the Durban Magistrates’ Court this week.

“This is a major breakthrough in our war against drug peddling as we believe the kingpin who was arrested has been supplying drugs to runners in the city centre and various suburbs in Durban,” Naicker said.

——–below is the full police statement, without any changes——–

MEDIA STATEMENT FROM THE KWAZULU NATAL MEDIA CENTRE

CORPORATE COMMUNICATION

SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE

DATE               :           15 March 2012

SUBJECT          :           SEVEN ARRESTED DURING MASSIVE DRUG BUST IN DURBAN

The Durban Flying Squad Narcotics Task Team, SAPS Crime Intelligence operatives, members of the Durban Central K9 Unit, and the Durban Metro Police Dog Unit joined forces to follow up on information they had received of suspected drug dealers operating in the Durban Central area.

They commenced with their operation at 10:00  yesterday morning, 14 March and immediately picked up five men in their late twenties who are alleged runners for the suspected drug dealers. Each of them was found with a small number of straws of heroin that they were peddling and they were placed under arrest and questioned. Police kept the area under surveillance and their patience and persistence paid off when, at approximately 20:30, they picked up a man who was allegedly carrying four hundred straws of heroin. Questioning of this suspect led police to another man who was allegedly found to be carrying six thousand straws of heroin within the same precincts.

Further investigations led to the team raiding a flat, which belongs to the suspect who was allegedly caught with the six thousand straws. They seized a number of plastic packets and a five litre plastic bucket containing a large quantity of tablets, capsules, straws and powders. It is suspected that the mandrax is obtained in powder form and processed and combined with a bulking agent before being moulded into mandrax tablets or packed into pieces of straws.

Aside from the initial six thousand, four hundred straws of heroin, the other packets contained one thousand, seven hundred and fifty eight mandrax tablets, three thousand, three hundred and fifty eight white capsules filled with mandrax powder, one thousand, eight hundred and fifty four straws of mandrax, and thirty five plastic parcels, each containing approximately fifty grams of mandrax powder. The white five litre bucket contained approximately two and a half kilograms of heroin. The total street value of all the drugs seized exceeds one and a half million rands.

Police also impounded a luxury motor vehicle and confiscated the amount of forty eight thousand rands that was found on the premises and is believed to be the proceeds from the sale of drugs. Various pieces of equipment that were used to manufacture, process and package the drugs were also seized by police as exhibits.

The arrested men have been detained pending their appearance in the Durban Magistrates’ Court later this week. Although police have reasonable cause to believe that the tablets, powders, capsules and straws contain drugs, all the seized substances will be forwarded to the forensic science laboratory to determine if they are indeed drugs, what drugs have been identified and to try and identify the bulking agents used. This is a major breakthrough in our war against drug peddling as we believe the kingpin who was arrested has been supplying drugs to runners in the city centre and various suburbs in Durban.

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