GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT - Concerted efforts by Western Cape police to curb the proliferation of unlicensed firearms, rid communities of drugs and closing down of unlicensed liquor outlets under the theme “more boots on the ground to enhance visibility”, yielded excellent results with the confiscation of drugs with an estimated street value of R64 000, a firearm and 494 litres liquor during crime combatting operations in the Garden Route District. The focused operations commenced on Wednesday, 11 January 2022 and concluded at Knysna last night, 12 January 2023.
The operation comprised of members of the Public order Police, Garden Route Crime Combatting Team, K9 Unit with trained narcotic and explosive dogs, Crime intelligence, Crime Prevention Unit members of local police stations as well as the newly trained police Constables. This multi-disciplinary approach conducted in conjunction with immigration officials from the Department of Home Affairs, law enforcement officers attached to the Bitou and Knysna Municipalities, local security companies and community volunteers. It included the closing down of drug outlets and unlicensed liquor premises as well as stop and search operations crime ridden areas in Plettenberg Bay (Kranshoek, Qolweni, Kwanokuthula), Sedgefield (Smutsville) and Knysna (Knysna central business district and Hornlee).
A total of 23 suspects were arrested; ten for dealing in drugs, six for possession of drugs, two for selling liquor without a licence, one for possession of stolen property, four in connection with outstanding warrants of arrest. The police confiscated 322 mandrax tablets, 820 grams of dagga, 125 tik straws, 134 grams of tik, 24 dagga stoppe as well as R2400 cash. The cash confiscated is believed to be proceeds of illicit activities.
On Thursday, 12 January 2023 the various units armed with search warrants, simultaneously pounced on three drug outlets situated in the vicinity of Witbooi Street, Smutsville (Sedgefield), in close proximity to each other. Upon searching the premises, police found Mandrax, dagga, tik and electrical appliance believed to be stolen property. This confiscations led to the arrest of four suspects, two on a charge of dealing in drugs, one for possession of drugs and one for possession of suspected stolen property.
Later the same day, the team descended on the Knysna taxi rank at Nelson Street where three more suspects were arrested on a charge of dealing in drugs each after drugs were found in their possession.
Meantime, earlier the week, George Crime Prevention Unit members also confiscated a firearm at a vehicle checkpoint on the N2 highway at the entrance to George. A 43-year-old man was arrested and charged for possession of an unlicensed firearm.
All arrested suspects are expected to appear in court once charged.
Western Cape police management had nothing but praise for the success of the operations that saw more boots on the ground and the confiscations of illicit items which threatens the safety of communities. The heightened visibility operations are being maintained as part of the police’s efforts to safeguard communities in this province.
Source: South African Police Service