EDEN CLUSTER – Excellent cooperation between the Eden stations and their counterparts yielded exceptional results following a joint crime combating operation that was held from 19 to 21 January 2022, focussing on successfully monitoring and policing of the main entrance and exit routes between provinces that aims to eradicate the flow of illegal goods and drugs into the Western Cape. We furthermore aim to ensure the safety of rural and urban communities by means of high density patrols and road visibility through roadblocks and vehicle checkpoints.

This integrated approach included all SAPS Units, Provincial and local Municipal Traffic departments, SARS, Nature Conservation, private security companies DAFF and other force multipliers such as CPF’s and Neighbourhood Watches.

Successes achieved include the arrest of 5 suspects for various serious criminal offences, mainly for drug related offences, such as the possession or dealing in cannabis and Khat. In addition to the arrests, members managed to confiscate 3963 bundles of Khat, more than 5 kg dagga, small quantities of Crystal Myth (Tik) and Mandrax tablets. They also confiscated a substantial amount of illicit / counterfeit goods to the estimated value of R433 129.00, with brand names such as Nike, Adidas, All Star and Fila-Tekkies. Fines (50) and admissions of guilt to the combined amount of approximately R48500.00 were issued for traffic violations and other minor offences. During these operations, members searched 352 vehicles and 441 people.

On 20 January 2022, Members deployed at the N2 Tsitsikamma Toll Gate pulled over a passenger bus and ensued with a search on the luggage compartment when they found the Counterfeit goods to the value of about R 433 129.00 amongst the luggage. No arrest was made as no one could account for it at the time. However an inquiry was opened for further investigation. An arrest is eminent.

On 21 January 2022, vigilant members attached to the Eden Flying Squad assisted by the sector commander, followed up on information received about a drug deal to be pulled off at a garage in George. They spotted the vehicle, a VW Polo that was described to them and witnessed the delivery as it took place. They stopped the vehicle in its tracks and ensued with a search upon which they found three boxes containing 3920 bundles Khat. A 34-year-old suspect was arrested and detained at George police holding cells. He was granted bail to appear in court on a later date for the Illegal Possession of Drugs.

Besides above successes, we are confident that a significant decline in most categories of crime was achieved for the duration of these operations. The absence of serious crime in especially the rural areas within the Eden Cluster can be attributed to the high density patrols and visible policing in these remote areas.

Western Cape Provincial Management lauded the efforts made to safeguard our rural communities and encourage the clusters to continue with their endeavours to maintain safety and security in these sectors.

Source: South African Police Service

News Reporter