Police investigations are underway into allegations of an undisclosed amount of seized drugs missing in transit from a Rudmore drug bust scene to the Phoenix police station, last week.
The Democratic Alliance headed by Members of Parliament, members of provincial legislature and ward councillors, visited the Phoenix police station on Wednesday, after news broke of millions of rands worth of drugs that had gone missing while in transit to the police station following a major drug bust in Rudmore on Monday, 22 April 2019.
MPL’s Francois Rodgers, Rishigen Veerana, Sharon Hoosen, as well as, MP’s Haniff Hoosen, Mergan Chetty, Sandy Kyalan, Ward Councillors, Bradley Singh, Lyndal Singh, Donovan Pillay and PR Cllr Samier Singh met with Phoenix SAPS station commander, Brigadier Ndlovu and questioned him about the missing drugs in police possession.
“A drug lab was uncovered in Rudmore Phoenix, where it is alleged that about 60 kilograms of heroin and 250, 000 capsules, amongst other equipment were recovered by Phoenix SAPS officials. It is alleged that officers from the Hawks DPCI arrived on scene and took over the case from the Phoenix SAPS and thereafter, allegedly transported the drugs to the Phoenix police station, during which, the drugs had gone missing. But this remained unknown as only one kilogram of heroin was recorded and only 12, 578 capsules were allegedly handed in by the officers from Hawks.
When the Phoenix officer on scene at Rudmore before handing over the matter to Hawks DPCI was made aware of this, a case of theft and defeating the ends of justice was opened by the officer against the member of Hawks DPCI. The matter is alleged to currently be investigated by the Anti-Corruption Unit under Hawks, but no arrests have been made as yet,” added Ward Councillor Bradley Singh.
MPL, Francois Rodgers added that they had spoken to the most senior official of the Phoenix police station during the visit that was unaware that the drugs in transit had been stolen.
“Our visit at SAPS and the interaction with senior officials was indicative of the apathy that we see with SAPS in the country, where we were given absolutely no information.
“There was no assistance given and the station commander was not even aware of the incident. He had no knowledge of it and when we asked whether any action had been taken against the officials and if any arrests had been made – we were not given any answers.”
“Our visit revealed that we have a SAPS organisation that is not geared to addressing crime in our community, particularly in an area like Phoenix where drugs are a major problem and just the lack of accountability and the lack of transparency speaks volumes. We have had a lot of queries from the community of Phoenix regarding the missing drugs and to appease their concerns this particular visit bore no fruit whatsoever.
Although we came out empty handed, we will not leave it there and now we will take it to both on our provincial and national structures and we will ascertain to exactly what steps SAPS are doing and ensure that there is action taken and that there is accountability and that there is a form of communication back to the community of Phoenix,” added Rodgers.
MPL Rishigen Veerana added that the station commander had referred them to the provincial organised crime division and that they have the commander’s details managing the case. “As the DA, we will definitely undertake to follow up with our parliamentary oversight duties to make sure that this case is handled and followed up with and that the members who are responsible for the alleged missing drugs are held responsible, arrested and prosecuted.”
Phoenix SAPS communications officer, Cpt L Naidoo, said, “This matter is under investigation. If drugs are missing then it went missing from the scene of the bust and not from the Phoenix police station.
The Phoenix SAPS member who noticed the discrepancy immediately set to address the issue after he discovered that the drugs found at the scene did not tally with what was on the register.”