Pubdate: Thu, 17 Jul 2003
Source: Herald, The (South Africa)
Copyright: 2003 The Herald.
Author: Sam Mkokeli
Bookmark: (Drug Raids)
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)


In a dramatic swoop yesterday, 11 people were arrested during a
six-hour anti-drugs blitz across Port Elizabeth.

Hilton Miller, 60, was arrested for allegedly being in possession of
live ammunition, 700 mandrax tablets and 69 Ecstasy tablets at his
Korsten home.

Police also allegedly found R3 169 in cash in two safes that were
hidden in an underground compartment in his bedroom.

The safes were locked and when Mr. Miller was asked for the keys of the
safes, he took out a cigarette, lit it, and only shook his head,
suggesting he did not know anything.

Police searched him for the keys but found nothing.

They then took the safes to a locksmith in Central to be opened and
found the money, ammunition and drugs.

They had earlier found a separate amount of R2 000 in notes hidden
away in a pool table in his garage.

While over 50 plainclothes policemen raided the house with sniffer
dogs, former alleged gangster Preston Shaw and two other men were
parked outside the house in a black Jaguar XJ-6 with mag wheels.

In Gelvandale, police arrested five men for possession of dagga. The
police had to contend with women who protested against the arrest of
the men by hurling abuse at the police. One resident, Maraudine
Baartman, a relative of one of the arrested men jumped at the police
van, apparently trying to prevent the police from arresting him.

She shouted: "Hy rook nie dagga nie. Hy drink net koffie. (He does not
smoke dagga. He only drinks coffee)."

The police team was split in two, with the second team concentrating
on Central.

At a flat which houses students in Havelock Street, Central, police
apparently arrived a day after the drug dealers had moved out. A new
tenant said he had just moved in and two men who shared a room had
moved out on Sunday.

However, one man was arrested for possession of mandrax

A woman in her 40s was also arrested in Albany Road. She was
apparently filmed by hidden cameras earlier this year.

The police had hoped to arrest 31 people, but time ran out and the
other suspects were nowhere to be found.

The swoop followed four months of intensive investigation where police
went under cover, using sophisticated technological equipment like
hidden cameras to film drug dealers in the act.

Port Elizabeth police spokesman Sergeant Thembi Gwe said although they
did not get all the suspects they wanted to arrest, they were happy
with the success of the operation. She said an increase in
drug-related violence prompted them to focus on drug dealing.

She said they would continue with similar operations, but declined to
give more details.

A total of R10 000 in cash was confiscated as well as 212 live rounds
of ammunition, 700 mandrax and 69 Ecstasy tablets and over 5kg of dagga.

Sergeant Gwe said the street value of the mandrax and Ecstasy tablets
was R40 000.

It could not be established last night when the suspects would appear
in court, but it was expected to be in the next two days.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin