Liquor crack­down closes 200 she­beens

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - JA­NIS KIN­N­EAR

SCORES of il­le­gal she­beens in Cape Town have been closed this year by law en­force­ment units, which also con­tinue to un­cover cases of hu­man traf­fick­ing at sus­pected broth­els.

Fol­low­ing ran­dom in­spec­tions or tip-offs from the pub­lic, more than 200 il­le­gal she­beens have been closed this year dur­ing joint op­er­a­tions by the City of Cape Town Vice Squad and Liquor En­force­ment Unit and the po­lice.

The mayoral com­mit­tee mem­ber for safety and se­cu­rity, JP Smith, said op­er­a­tions were fo­cused on premises which “con­trib­ute heav­ily to an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour” in com­mu­ni­ties.

He added that places were also tar­geted as part of un­der­cover op­er­a­tions.

In the past three months alone, 592 joint in­spec­tions were con­ducted, with 3 105 litres of al­co­hol con­fis­cated.

The most prob­lem­atic ar­eas for il­le­gal she­beens, as well as tav­erns which spark com­plaints about sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­i­ties or un­ruly pa­trons, are Elsies River, Khayelit­sha, Langa, Wal­lace­dene and Kraaifontein.

Dur­ing the same pe­riod, the city vice squad and the Hawks hu­man traf­fick­ing task team have fol­lowed up on 56 com­plaints of sus­pected broth­els.

Vice squad spokesman Nathan Lade­gour­die said nine cases of hu­man traf­fick­ing had been opened this year. Women as young as 18 were promised work in the city, mostly ad­min­is­tra­tion jobs, with salaries of about R10 000 a month.

“As soon as they ar­rive at the desti­na­tion, they are forced into th­ese houses and told what they must do. They get as­saulted or raped and drugged with sub­stances such as heroin,” Lade­gour­die said.

Most street pros­ti­tutes and sus­pected broth­els were found in res­i­den­tial ar­eas, in­clud­ing Brook­lyn, Mil­ner­ton, Ta­ble View and cer­tain parts of Bel­lville. Most of the women in­volved in cases of hu­man traf­fick­ing and street prostitution came from the East­ern Cape, North West, Joburg, Bloem­fontein and Pre­to­ria.

How­ever, Lade­gour­die said that since the in­cep­tion of the spe­cialised vice squad, great strides had been made to iden­tify broth­els and make ar­rests.

ja­nis.kin­n­ear@inl.co.za

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