The drug trade and the international syndicates behind it

Map: United Nations on Drugs and Crime (UNOCD)

CDA statistics estimate that of every R5 used in the country, one is linked to the drug trade.
Police working on drug crimes said they get at least one death threat a week. Bossies Community Justice (BCJ) Mr Albert Gryvenstein has also received death threats from dealers.  Dealers, who are different from the drug runners on the street, are ruthless. Cocaine still comes into the country from Colombia, Bolivia and Brazil. South-East Asia and the Golden Triangle, including countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan, supply most of the heroin. Mexicans also manufacture it.

Map: United Nations on Drugs and Crime (UNOCD)

Mexican cartels are one of the largest which move heroin. They have infiltrated Cape Town, Johannesburg and Bloemfontein. They are known globally to be some of the most-dangerous criminals and have used tactics like decapitating their competitors’ heads and throwing them into nightclubs to send a message. The Chinese Triad gangs also operate in South Africa.  In Mbombela, two Nigerian syndicates control cocaine and other hard drugs, and a Tanzanian operation runs the heroin trade.

Map: United Nations on Drugs and Crime (UNOCD)   “Nigerian syndicates operate worldwide and on their own. They will have, for example, people in Brazil who will buy the drugs and use their own mules to smuggle the product into South Africa. The drugs are smuggled in on cargo planes and ships.”  “There are about 4 000 ghost containers coming into South Africa carrying smuggled goods. Nigerians are prolific users of drug mules.” The source claims 95 per cent of the heroin in the country has passed through Mbombela. Another 70 per cent of the cocaine found in Johannesburg has passed through our city. “Ephedrine normally comes through from Mozambique.”

There are 852 types of marijuana.  “Dagga from South Africa is sought after worldwide. Southern African countries supply 80 per cent of the high-quality dagga to the world.” He added that the drug did not affect most people adversely, but it could trigger bipolar and schizophrenia in others.  “Dagga has recently been mixed with other drugs to create a fixed demand,” he added.  “As far as police busts, we are only scratching the surface of the trade.”  Most drug lords do not use banks, their front businesses and assets are mostly kept in other people’s names. “I know one dealer in the area who has 33 vehicles. All of them are in in his wife’s, friend’s or family member’s name. They make sure nothing gets traced back to them.”

  AUTHOR
Tereasa Dias
Journalist

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