Liquor worth R2m confiscated in Walmer
Alcohol worth almost R2m was found in a container and confiscated from the makeshift wholesaler doubling as a tavern in Walmer township.
Police said the tavern was targeted as part of an operation aimed at clamping down on the illegal sale of alcohol.
The raid on several taverns started on Tuesday evening and finished on Wednesday morning.
Police, however, said the bulk of their time was spent at one tavern where a container of alcohol was found.
Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the sprouting of illegal taverns and shebeens in certain areas was a concern for police and that constant policing and liquor inspections had to be done to curb the illegal trade.
“The misuse of liquor especially in the Walmer location is a stubborn social ill which often results in crimes such as murder, attempted murder, rape, assault, and assault with intent to cause serious bodily harm.”
Naidu said several taverns had been raided and shut down during an earlier operation last week.
“This [raid uncovered] a shack that doubles as a tavern with a container alongside it.
“There is no street name and it is situated in the G-West area of Walmer location.
“During the previous raid, the shack was identified and detectives opted to return at a later stage after consulting with various other departments to establish if the tavern was legit.”
Naidu said on searching the container, alcohol to the value of about R2m was found.
Stock seized included expensive brands of liquor as well as beer and ciders.
“During the investigations it was established that this person also doubles as a distributor and sells the alcohol to the surrounding taverns.
“No receipts or invoices could be provided to verify where the items were purchased or how it came into the owner’s possession.”
Naidu said a woman in her 40s, who claimed to be the owner, was arrested and charged for dealing in liquor without a licence.
The alcohol will be kept in police holding pending finalisation of the case, after which it will be destroyed if the owner is found to be in violation of the law.
Mount Road Cluster Commander Major-General Thembisile Patekile said similar raids would continue across the area.
“These sting operations will ensure proper monitoring of the taverns and shebeens.
“The Liquor Control Board accompanies us during the operations to ascertain the legitimacy of these taverns,” Patekile said.
“We will be coming down hard on those who do not comply with the law.”
The woman is due to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
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