Police seize date-rape drug shipment

Police confiscated 200 Rohypnol tablets.

Women have been warned to be on their guard after police arrested two men and seized 200 tablets of the date-rape drug, Rohypnol, in Lansdowne, last week.

A tip-off about a consignment of the drug being shipped from Durban for sale on the Cape Town black market saw police swoop on a Hanbury Road residence on Tuesday November 27, said provincial police spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel André Traut.

Police held two men, aged 33 and 25, on drug-possession charges. Apart from the Rohypnol, valued at about R30 000, officers also seized dagga plants and dagga, also valued at R30 000, and cash. Two cars were also confiscated.

“We have reason to believe that the Rohypnol tablets were earmarked for sexual crimes against women. Gender-based violence and sexual crimes perpetrated against women are matters that are high on the priority list of the Western Cape police,” Lieutenant Colonel Traut said.

Lansdowne police spokesman, Sergeant Nkululeko Mnyaka, said the drug was common in nightclubs, where it was used to commit sex crimes, although it was new to the Lansdowne area.

Police had followed the 25-year-old suspect who had picked up the drugs from PostNet in Plumstead.

“He stopped in Hanbury Road and the police asked to search his bag and found the drugs. They also went inside with him where they found the dagga plants. We suspect that they are part of a bigger syndicate and that this has been going on for a long time,” he said.

The suspects appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday November 28.

LansdowneCommunity Police Forum chairman, Rafique Foflonker, said the presence of the date-rape drug in the area was worrying. Each tablet seized had prevented a sexual assault, he said.

“Because of the postal infrastructure, we cannot believe that this was an isolated incident. We need to find out where it came from. We are extremely happy that it was found in time,” he said.

Mr Foflonker said during his weekend patrols he saw many women roaming the streets who appeared to be intoxicated.

“We don’t know if these women were sexually assaulted because they cannot remember.”