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Police have seized a “client list” containing more than 200 names from a University of KwaZulu-Natal student who has been arrested for allegedly selling designer drugs, mainly to students.
They will now attempt to track down, profile and question them. The student allegedly used text messaging to send out a drug “menu” with prices and details for buying.
The student, caught allegedly selling dagga to an undercover agent in a joint police and university operation, is studying towards a Bachelor of Science degree.
He lives at the university’s Westville campus Block B residence, from where police allege he operated his “business” and where he was arrested.
Police said they seized plastic packets of hydroponically-grown dagga and cards of the date rape drug, Rohypnol, in his room.
He is alleged to deal in different types of designer dagga – such as Swazi Gold, Durban Poison, Chocolate Kush, Cheeze and Skunk – as well as Viagra and Rohypnol.
Television sets, PlayStation 3 gaming consoles as well as iPhones were on his For Sale list, said police, who said most of his business was done on BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).
A list of the drugs available, the prices and the time and place where they could be purchased, was also circulated daily on BBM, a police source said.
He also allegedly offered incentives, including free Rivotril – an anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant used for epilepsy and panic disorders – to his first customer of the day.
Another 22-year-old student, alleged to be a runner for the dealer, was also arrested.
Off campus, the suspect allegedly operated from three shopping malls in Durban, and at weekends, deals were conducted at night clubs and at various venues in Florida Road, the source said.
The suspect, believed to be part of a syndicate operating in KZN, was also known to operate at UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus during the week. Most of the drugs were imported in bulk from India, the source said.
Both students were expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court today on charges of dealing in drugs and contravening the Medicines Control Act.
The main suspect, who calls himself “Prof T – head of science, and 542” (the code name for Rohypnol), was arrested after a two-month undercover operation by the SAPS Crime Intelligence Unit in KZN and the Durban Organised Crime, Narcotics Unit.
The police source said the suspect had been dealing drugs at the Westville and Pietermaritzburg campuses for the past two years.
“The Westville campus was particularly problematic. The university’s risk management and security tried to intervene, but they failed,” he said.
“He even evaded arrest a year ago. UKZN management then alerted the (SAPS) provincial commissioner (Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni) to the problem.”
Crime intelligence and the narcotics unit were tasked with identifying and profiling the main dealer.
“The suspect was identified and an undercover agent was sent in to buy drugs from him. He does all his business transactions on BBM,” the source said.
One of the messages reads: “150g cheeze and beans. R140 a card from now till 11am. 2moro no stock on campus. we need to study. i promised the dean no drugs on campus this year. sticking to promise.”
The source said ‘cheeze and beans’ referred to the dagga and Rohypnol, which was sold at R140 a pack.
“This dealer has runners working for him. If he cannot do a sale himself, or if it clashes with his lectures, he gets the runner to do it for him.”
The source said the suspect bought the drugs in bulk from the KZN syndicate.
“He then takes it back to his dormitory and it is weighed and packaged there. He is the main dealer, but there are several other sub-dealers working from the same residence for him.”
Several other rooms at the Block B residence were also raided, the source said.
UKZN spokeswoman, Nomonde Mbadi, said last night that the raids were part of a joint operation between the university and police.
“We are aware of the students who were arrested outside our campus and brought into the university to search their residences. The investigations are at a very sensitive stage and we are not in a position to divulge any details of this operation,” she said.
“UKZN takes very seriously the issue of drugs and involved the police so as to ensure that our campuses are safer. Disciplinary processes will be instituted by the university, independent of the police investigation.”
The source said they had a list of all the students who had been buying from the suspect. “They will also be profiled and questioned in coming days. It is sad that parents cough up a fortune to send their kids to university, and they become involved in illegal activities.”
The source said Rohypnol was a popular drug among students because it was a very potent tranquilliser.
The various types of designer dagga, he said, were mainly grown indoors and subjected to various chemical processes to increase its potency. He said further arrests were imminent.
KZN police spokesman, Colonel Vincent Mdunge, confirmed the arrests of both students.
“This was brought to the attention of the provincial commissioner and she set up a task team to investigate,” Mdunge said. “She appeals to the community to continue being the eyes and ears of the community to ensure further successes in the fight against crime.