SAPS gets lucky break with accidental drug bust

Cops find stash after checking on open gate

Alert police officers in Port Elizabeth confiscated drugs worth an estimated R1.4-million and suspected stolen goods from a garden flat after a man allegedly forgot to close his front gate.

Police officers were doing routine patrols in the Newton Park area on Saturday night when they noticed someone had left their front gate open in Burt Drive.

Concerned for the residents’ safety, the officers decided to investigate.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said members of the Operational Command Centre’s crime combating unit saw the open gate at about 7pm and decided to see if everything was in order at the house.

“The officers approached the house and found a man in the yard. When they identified themselves, he started to run for the gate, dropping something on the ground as he ran,” she said.

“The officers managed to catch him and the package he dropped turned out to be drugs.”

After apprehending the man, 49, the officers decided to investigate further.

They searched the flatlet the man occupied, a storeroom at the back of the house and the rest of the yard, finding drugs, cash and suspected stolen goods.

“The drugs were found hidden everywhere inside his residence, in trees, in pipes around the outside of the house and in his vehicle,” Naidu said.

“The officers also found cellphones, cameras, video cameras, power tools and other goods.”

Naidu said detectives estimated that about 2kg of cocaine and 700 grams of tik, made up into smaller packets, were found.

The exact value has not been confirmed, but they estimated the drugs were worth R1.4-million, while the suspected stolen goods were worth about R30 000.

The police also confiscated a plane ticket to Lagos, Nigeria, from the suspect.

The man is expected to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court tomorrow and faces charges of dealing in drugs and the possession of suspected stolen property.

Mount Road acting cluster commander Brigadier Keith Meyer lauded the members from the Operational Command Centre for their vigilance and urged the public to report any suspicious activity.

“Crime intelligence is vital if we need to catch the drug lords. Striving towards a drug-free society is something we need to work on together,” Meyer said.

“Port Elizabeth is not a drug haven and we will continue in our efforts in the battle against drug trafficking and substance abuse.”

Tiso Black Star Group

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