Pretoria : 5 October 2015 – In line with the government’s National Drug Master Plan, the South African Police Service (SAPS) is committed itself to ensuring that last week’s country wide operation, during which drug dens were raided throughout the country, becomes a regular feature as we seek to take the fight to the drug dealers and peddlers.

This past weekend, starting from Thursday, the SAPS units comprising of Visible Policing and Crime Intelligence, together with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (commonly known as the Hawks) embarked on a country-wide, multidisciplinary, intelligence driven operation which resulted in the arrest of 219 suspects for a variety of drug related charges such as dealing in and possession of drugs. More than 200 outlets known by informers to be places of drug dealings were raided, and several quantities of drugs such as dagga, Nyaope (whoonga), crystal meth cocaine, mandrax and heroin were seized at these drug dens.

“It goes without a saying that there is a causal link between the proliferation of drugs and a spike in crime, since drug addiction is a habit that has to be fed on an ongoing basis. However, for us to cause a serious dent on drug dealings, we will appreciate it if the communities, especially in the affected areas, could turn tip-offs into a habit. As the police we need all the help we could get,” said the National Commissioner of the Police, General Riah Phiyega.

Included in the list of arrested suspects are two men after they were found in possession of dagga weighing 154 kilogrammes. They were apparently coming from KwaZulu-Natal en route to Kimberley. Also arrested was a former police officer for allegedly running a sophisticated hydroponic Tetrahydrocannabinol drug lab in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, which manufactured so, called “cannabis oil.” This drug is reportedly worth about one thousand rand a gram overseas.