‘Pink cocaine’: New drug for the high rollers found in Grassy Park bust

Published Dec 31, 2023


Cape Town - A new drug aimed at the caviar and champagne crowd is in use in Cape Town. This was discovered during a drug bust on the Cape Flats.

It has become known as “pink cocaine”.

In Spain, where it was first used, it is known as “Tucibi”. Locally, it is known as “Tusi” and is selling at up to R1 000 for a bankie (small sachet).

The arrest of the alleged drug dealer in Grassy Park on Thursday came after a tip-off. Police then discovered the pink powder-like substance.

Grassy Park station commander Colonel Dawood Laing said police executed the search warrant and busted the suspect, 28, who was found with 10 sachets of the substance.

“We received a tip-off from residents about possible drug sales at a house in Grassy Park. We obtained a search warrant, which we executed. We found 10 packets with a bright pink powder-like substance.

“On further investigation and questioning, we were told this is pink cocaine, also known as Tusi. It apparently comes from Spain but as far as I know, this is the first time it has been found in Cape Town.”

Further investigations revealed that the packets were sold for between R800 and R1 000 each, he said.

“We believe this is targeted at higher income drug users who already use cocaine. This is a more potent form so they can reach their highs quicker. Also, with the difference in colour and largely unknown by police officers, it could easily be overlooked and not recognised as a drug we know.”

Laing said the alleged dealer would spend the weekend behind bars and was due to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on drug dealing charges on Tuesday.

“In our investigation, we found the suspect is not known to us, and we keep a very good record of all the dealers in our precinct. He will probably apply for bail but we intend opposing it.”

Laing said investigations into Tusi would be stepped up.

“We will now intensify our investigations to try to track where this drug is coming from and who the suppliers are. As this is still new, we do not know much, but it is important that anyone with information comes forward.

“We also urge parents to be aware and extra cautious and to not give their children large sums of money.”

Ashley Potts, a former director of the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre, said that in other countries, the drug was known as “Tucibi”.

He was not aware of it being used locally but warned that it could be lethal.

“It is a fentanyl-based drug and is laced with other things such as bath salts, ecstasy, hallucinogens and opioids, with the last being what causes the dependency or addiction to the drug. We have not yet heard of this being used locally and it is very concerning.”

Potts said that while the arrest was welcome, it was imperative that authorities ensured proper testing was done to establish what the pink powder comprised.

“It will go to the government labs for testing and it is very important that we find out what exactly this is made of. The problem with most drugs is that the pure version is not as dangerous as what it is laced with. The colour could be a mere form of concealment as it would not be what our police are trained to look for.”

Community Safety MEC, Reagan Allen, said: “I welcome the arrest on a charge of dealing in drugs. The negative effects of the illicit drug trade are well-known. We have been plagued by drugs that only tear apart families and communities, and ensnare too many of our people in the bonds of addiction.

“Crucially, they provide the most important and vital source of income for gangs, thus driving incessant and constant violence.

“Since taking up a seat in Parliament in 2019, I have vigorously addressed and taken up the issue of drugs and gangsterism in our province and will further engage the provincial commissioner to ensure that the flow of drugs, new or old, are curbed.”

The person caught with the new high-end drug pink cocaine

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