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Technology helps bust drug dealers

Crime & Courts

A state-of-the-art scanner helped metro police officers nab two alleged Nigerian drug dealers as they travelled on the highway.

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TO GO WITH AFP HISTORY BY IBAR AIBAR AND LUIS ROBAYO A police officer shows a dose of crack and a small pipe to smoke it seized during a raid against micro-trafficking in Cali, Colombia, on June 8, 2011. In Colombia a dose of crack is sold for 500 pesos (USD 30 cents) and a distribution network employing from 15 to 20 people can report around USD 250,000 monthly. In 2010 there were 1813 homicides in Cali --a rate of 80 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants-- from which at least 30 percent can be related to drug trafficking. AFP PHOTO/Luis ROBAYO

The scanner, mounted on top of a metro police car, relayed information to the officers indicating that the car in front of them was wanted in connection with a drug-dealing offence in Sunnyside.

And when they searched the car, police said they had found drugs inside.

Wayne Minnaar, the spokesman for the Johannesburg Metro Police Department said the officers were on the M1 at around 8am yesterday (Mon) near Corlett Drive, when a scanner relayed a message to them about a black Toyota Yaris on the same road.

The scanner, also called the number plate recognition system, gives information on drivers of cars it scans as well as their addresses.

It also determines if the car registration of a vehicle is false, whether it is stolen or a warrant of arrest for a criminal offence has been issued against the driver.

Minnaar said the officers had stopped the car.

“They searched the car and found the drug, Cat, inside. The drugs were worth about R200 000,” he said.

The two men were arrested and taken to the Norwood police station, where they were charged with drug dealing.

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