Between 22 – 25 October 2022, the Overstrand K-9 Units utilised their strong sense of smell to effect the arrest of 4 suspects during 3 separate operations. The Overstrand unit, which operates throughout the Overberg District, has 6 officers and 6 dogs.
On 22 October 2022, the K-9 Unit assisted the South African Police Services (SAPS) with 2 separate drug searches at houses in Gansbaai. This led to one arrest at each house. Along with this the following confiscations were made:
In the early morning hours of 25 October 2022, the K-9 Unit in a joint operation with SAPS, Cape Nature and officials from the Department of Forestry, Fishery and the Environment (DFFE), pursued a suspicious vehicle that was travelling from the Caledon area. Upon bringing the vehicle to a halt, officers noticed what looked like abalone slime. While conducting a search of the vehicle officers noted slime marks a few metres away from where they stopped the vehicle. Further inspection led to the discovery of 10 bags containing 2 571 units of abalone, which has an estimated street value of R 1, 2 million. Two suspects were arrested.
On the same day, the Unit also assisted in the Hangklip area. This led to the discovery of 6 abandoned bags, containing 132 units of abalone. The estimated street value is R 61 500. Unfortunately, no arrests were made.
Minister Reagen Allen said: “Man’s best friend, their handlers and all officials must be commended for these arrests, confiscations and overall successes. They are continuing to do a sterling job in ensuring that the routes criminals are using to transport their illicit items are interrupted. This is part of the reason why the Western Cape Government invested in the K-9 Unit, as we want to ensure that our residents are kept out of harm’s way and are able to live in safer communities.”
The K9 Unit’s main objective is to serve as a crime fighting force multiplier to SAPS and other role-players. The unit does this through the detection and searching of contraband, particularly illegal drugs, firearms, ammunition as well as providing assistance to the DFFE to curb the illegal trade of abalone, crayfish and other Marine products.
Minister Reagen Allen continued: “SAPS’ K-9 unit has been depleted in the Western Cape, as the national government do not see the importance of having this service along our highways, other critical routes and coastal areas. As the Western Cape Government, we want to have more K-9 units deployed in various spaces, and this is why it is important that SAPS in the Western Cape is run by a capable provincial government such as ours, so that their K-9 unit can be prioritised, well-resourced and utilised effectively.”
“We will not cease our effective and efficient working relationship with all role-players, as we are fully aware that through collaboration, we will be able to create safer roads, coastlines and communities,” concluded Minister Reagen Allen.