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South Africa: Criminals Using Coffins – KZN Premier Flags ‘New Crime Trend’

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has flagged a “new trend” of criminals taking advantage of the provisions for funeral parlours under the national lockdown regulations as a cover to carry out their criminal activities.

Zikalala was speaking at a briefing on efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus on Sunday, where he detailed two incidents from the weekend.

On Saturday night, in Underberg, police officers spotted a car belonging to a funeral parlour. The car was stopped and searched, and police officers discovered liquor in the vehicle. The occupants were arrested.

Earlier on the same day, two alleged drug dealers, posing as funeral parlour employees, were arrested after allegedly caught in possession of 80kg of dagga stashed in a coffin they were transporting. They were stopped by police officers manning a roadblock in Pongola, and subsequently arrested.

The arrests were part of the 1 182 arrests made since the extension of the lockdown.

“We welcome the significant progress made by our law enforcement authorities in the apprehension of those who have sought to violate the regulations of the lockdown,” Zikalala says.

“We want to commend the law enforcement operations for upscaling efforts to ensure compliance with lockdown regulations.”

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