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Cop Arrested for Escorting Transkei Cannabis Dealer Convoys

An Eastern Cape policeman has been arrested for providing “official” escort services to illegal Transkei marijuana farmers to help them evade the law.  The arrest of three people, one of whom was the policeman, comes in the face of increased accusations that the police are deeply complicity with illegal cannabis dealers.

News 24 reports that three people were arrested on 13 May 2021 in a pre-dawn raid in Makhwaleni Village, near Lusikisiki during an operation involving the Eastern Cape Anti-Corruption Team, Crime Intelligence and the Tactical Response Team.

Police spokesperson, Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana, said the arrested officer used an official police vehicle to escort merchants supplying cannabis across the Eastern and Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal. Dried cannabis flowers and seeds with a estimated street value of R130 000 was seized during the raid.

 

News24 supplied: Cannabis seized during the raid in which a police officer was arrested

 

“It is also alleged that, when dealers had buyers in the area, they would call the police, who got paid for escort services rendered. In some instances, the police officer would confiscate dagga from the public’s general members and sell the same dagga to dealers for a profit. 

“Police are still looking for the fourth female suspect, who is believed to be on the run. 

“During the operation, a bulk of dagga and dagga seeds were confiscated. The value of the confiscated dagga is estimated at R130 000.”

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga vowed to rid the police service of corrupt elements within its ranks. 

The Marijuana Board of South Africa (MBOSA) has been critical of police complicity in Transkei cannabis dealing and says the Independent Police Inspectorate Division (IPID) has been slack in following up cases of torture and harassment of cannabis dealers. MBOSA spokesperson Steven Khunou told Cannabiz Africa : “The fate of most South Africans is such of the likes of RAS Chilamo from Free State. He was traveling with his car, police stopped him and found marijuana and charged him with dealing.  The case was subsequently struck of roll and the marijunana not returned “.

“IPID has several cases of members of MBOS who were tortured by Police; these cases are given to junior staff members who know little on the matter. This is to deliberately frustrate the victims so that cases can lapse. There is no legal recourse for those whom were illegally arrested for marijuana-related crimes . Station Commanders are also involved in the missing marijuana. They are corrupt to core since they conceal all crimes performed by their members.

“Ask SAPS how many tons of Marijuana had they confiscated since 18 September 2018, how much of it was returned as per number of cases struck off the roll. This question will open a can of worms. Tons can be seen transported via police vehicles to other dealers who are linked to police syndicates”.

The arrests come as there is an increased call from a variety of organizations for a halt in cannabis arrests while the legalization debate is underway (https://www.cannabiz-africa.com/saps-continue-cannabis-onslaught-despite-legalization-debate/).

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