DURBAN - THE drug trade in Durban has been dealt a blow after police seized heroin powder in two separate incidents, four days apart, worth a combined estimated value of R4.1 million.
A 47-year-old man is expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday after he was arrested and charged with drug dealing in Glenwood on Saturday.
Spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo said the drugs were packaged similarly, in clear plastic bags, and were concealed in a white bag with a circular blue stamp.
“Police received information about a man who was distributing heroin in various places in the province. The man was allegedly caught red-handed, carrying a bag, leaving his place of residence. Police found packs of pure heroin powder with a street value of approximately R2 340 000.”
Last Tuesday, police arrested Nadaragen Chetty, 58, for allegedly dealing in drugs. He appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court and was remanded in custody. His case was postponed to Wednesday for a bail application.
Chetty was arrested at the Mariannhill Toll Plaza for allegedly transporting drugs from Johannesburg to Durban. Ten packs of heroin powder with a street value of approximately R1.8 million were allegedly found concealed behind the dashboard of a car he was driving.
According to the World Drug Report 2021, quantities of opiates intercepted in Africa were not large but had increased in recent years. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, trafficking continued in 2020 and large quantities of heroin were seized including 342kg of heroin from a truck that had travelled from Mozambique to South Africa in September 2020.
On Monday, two men aged 38 and 41 will appear in the Vryheid Magistrate’s Court over drug possession and drug dealing.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said police were patrolling along the R33 Vryheid/Paulpietersburg Road near the Kambula farmers market when they spotted a vehicle with a Durban registration. Police searched the vehicle and discovered that it was loaded with eight large bales of dagga wrapped with brown tape. Mbele said the dagga weighed 150kg and had an estimated street value of R750 000.
The vehicle the men were travelling in was impounded for further investigation.
On the same road last Wednesday, police stopped a vehicle and found 10 bags of dagga weighing 118kg with an estimated street value of R500 000. Two men, aged 25 and 35, were arrested.
The report said analysis of various indicators over the period of 2010 to 2019 suggested that South Africa was one of many countries that were likely to have a significant area under cannabis cultivation in comparison with other countries in the same region.
Dagga was reported as the primary or secondary drug for the majority of people who were treated for drug use disorders, in particular among those aged 20 or less in 2019.