Pubdate: Mon, 21 Jul 2003
Source: Daily News, The (South Africa)
Copyright: 2003 The Daily News.
Authors: Elisha Ramnundlall, Gilda Van Schalkwyk
Note: Mandrax is a sedative and hypnotic drug which suppresses the central 
nervous system and was initially prescribed in South Africa as a sleeping 
tablet. In South Africa abusers powder mandrax tablets, mix it with 
cannabis ('dagga') and smoke it in a pipe, known as white pipe. Broken off 
bottles are mostly used. It can also be ingested orally. Mandrax heightens 
the effects of cannabis.
Note Source:
Bookmark: (Drug Raids)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Mandrax)


Senior police officials swopped office jobs for active policing in an 
effort to "take back the streets" in an intelligence operation involving 
more than 60 uniformed and plainclothes police over the weekend.

During the six-hour operation several homes and drug dens were targeted.

At the forefront of the operation were police informants who revealed the 
much-needed information used to conduct an operation of this magnitude.

The raid, spearheaded by the Area Commissioner for Durban South, Raj 
Ramsaroop, concentrated on suspected drug peddlers, money launderers and 
people in possession of unlicensed weapons.

Criminals were caught off-guard as they went about their usual Friday night 

Umlazi's infamous V-section was first hit and three men aged 24, 26 and 28 
were arrested for dealing in dagga. White powder resembling mandrax was 
also confiscated and sent for testing.

The police faced resistance when they attempted to raid a 
heavily-barricaded home in Umlazi G-Section. By the time they got in the 
suspected dealers had apparently had ample time to flush the drugs down the 
toilet. "The suspects seemed to have had a contingency plan in which they 
effectively disposed of the drugs in a short space of time, using the 
oldest trick in the book," said police spokeswoman Danelia Veldhuizen.

Police raids in an area like Umlazi were sometimes made ineffective because 
the suspects had cellphones and alerted one another, she added.

The infamous Block 240 flats in Bayview, Chatsworth, were hit next.

Though police were careful not to alert suspected dealers, big bolts and 
locks guarding the homes prevented immediate access to the premises.

Between the time police approached the homes to the time entry was gained, 
the drugs disappeared.

"You hear the toilet flushing, and there's not much you can do but wait to 
enter the house," Veldhuizen said.

"As per the Criminal Procedure act we can't break the gates that block 
entry, as this has serious legal repercussions for police," she added. 
"This is one of the reasons we have our legal team on hand during raids, so 
if there's a judgment call to be made it is an informed one."

Police also raided the Basement Nightclub, now called Boyz Two Men, in 

The owner was forced to close down because he did not have a proper liquor 
licence needed for a full bar.

Alcohol to the value of R5 000 was confiscated. The owner was fined R2 000.
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