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Police gathering drug evidence

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Police gathering drug evidence

by Tammy Petersen
26 Sep 2007
The Peoples Post
The Peoples Post

Continuous raids will still be in the pipeline for 12 Beverley Street as law enforcement officers continue to investigate claims that the council house is being used for the sale of drugs and alcohol.

People's Post previously reported on businesses in the Athlone central business district complaining that activities in the house have been hampering business in the area for years. Evidence is currently being collected during raids to take action against the owner of the property.

Superintendent Edward Norman from the Athlone Police Station says they are working closely with province and the Asset Forfeiture Unit to find a solution to the problem. "Everything relevant to the house as well as the results of the raids is given to the Drug and Shebeen Task Team."

According to councillor JP Smith from the task team, selling drugs and running shebeens on council property has caused major problems for a long time.

"There is a list of about 400 council houses being investigated for these activities. This is definitely major organised crime."

He says the task team has been doing "a lot" to put an end to what he calls "state-subsidised drug trade" in conjunction with the province, the SAPS and the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU).

"There are more than 10 000 backyard dwellers waiting patiently for houses who will comply with the list of standard behaviour on council property.

"We have to get rid of these criminals and make these houses available for decent people."

He says they are doing all in their power to evict illegal traders from these houses by starting with the high flyers and ending with the smaller ones. "This is just causing big problems in communities and is reaching crisis point.

"Too much is going on and it is time to put an end to it."

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