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Milnerton property was hiding multimillion-rand tik, Mandrax operation: SAPS

SA's crystal meth market is 'deeply embedded in society' — report

25 March 2021 - 08:15 By aron hyman
A 40-year-old suspect was arrested at the property in Burcell Street, Tijgerhof.
A 40-year-old suspect was arrested at the property in Burcell Street, Tijgerhof.
Image: SAPS

A large quantity of drugs worth millions of rand as well as unlicensed firearms with ammunition were seized at a Milnerton residence on Wednesday afternoon.

The property was raided by an integrated SAPS team comprising the Cape Town Tactical Response Team (TRT) with K9 unit members.

A 40-year-old suspect was arrested at the property in Burcell Street, Tijgerhof.

The police seized 52kg of crystal meth estimated at R18.2m, 8,850 Mandrax tablets valued at R442,500 and hydroponic dagga, as well as three pistols and a revolver, 286 rounds of ammunition, 13 magazines and a holster.

The suspect is facing charges relating to dealing in drugs, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition. He will appear in court on Friday.

Police spokesperson Brig Novela Potelwa said as the investigation continued, there was a possibility of more suspects being apprehended as well as more charges being laid against the suspect already apprehended.

“Western Cape acting provincial commissioner Maj-Gen Thembisile Patekile has praised the integrated forces involved in the operation. He reiterated the commitment of SAPS in ridding Western Cape communities of drugs and illegal firearms that generate other serious violent crimes,” said Potelwa.

“Similar operations are set to continue in a bid to create safety within communities.”

SA crystal meth market 'controlled by a few syndicates': report

According to a new report published by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime on Thursday, SA is the biggest crystal meth user in Southern Africa and one of the biggest meth users in the world.

The report by Global Initiative drug expert Jason Eligh said domestic production of crystal meth has waned and with supply coming increasingly from industrial-scale production points in West Africa and through Nigerian supply channels.

“Meth market price points and supply channels appear to be controlled by a few syndicates. Distribution is strongly territorial in nature, and there is little variation in meth volume and packaging options. One can buy the same meth packaged the same way in almost every national marketplace,” said Eligh in the report titled “A Synthetic Age: The Evolution of Methamphetamine Markets in Eastern and Southern Africa”.

“The regional meth markets appear to function in a quasi-cartel arrangement, with the same few transnational networks controlling most of the production and upper-level regional distribution,” read the report.

“Of the markets analysed here, consumer demand for meth is highest in South Africa but it is increasing in neighbouring markets, particularly because it is beginning to compete as a substitute substance for crack cocaine.

“The SA meth market is the oldest in the region, deeply embedded in society and the most structured of all the regional markets that were researched. SA remains the primary destination market for meth trafficking within the region, but cross-border supply is flowing to all neighbouring countries.”

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