Hawks deny raiding wrong house

Johannesburg - The Hawks on Wednesday denied a report that it raided the wrong house in Sandton during an operation to crack down on illicit diamond trade.

"That was not the wrong house that was raided, it was the right house," Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko told Sapa.

"That is the address we have according to our information, and we secured a search and seizure warrant for that address... but nothing was found on the property."

Ramaloko was responding to a report in The New Age that Hawks officers barged into the wrong house.

The newspaper reported that an armoured vehicle rammed the gates of the property, damaged the electric fence, windows and doors during the operation on Friday.

Homeowner Jennifer Peers was at home at the time with a 9-year-old girl and 3-month-old baby.

She claimed the police did not identify themselves or explain what they wanted. She told the newspaper they broke down her doors and threatened to shoot her dogs if they were not locked away.

The girl was apparently so frightened that she hid inside a cupboard with her teddy bear.

Ramaloko admitted that there was damage to the house but said "we gave the family the necessary support of our action".

"The children were counselled the same day, and we communicated with the insurance company over the damages. That was done," he said.

Ramaloko said the operation "Project Darling" was initiated in 2012 targeting a diamond trade syndicate in South Africa.

Raids were conducted in Johannesburg and Kimberley in recent weeks and among the items seized was R4.417m cash, 66 diamonds, 16 digital scales, laptops, vehicles, two firearms, 282 rounds of ammunition, and an elephant tusk.

He said 26 people had been arrested so far, and some had already appeared in court facing charges of money laundering and using unregistered premises as diamond trading houses.

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Nin Ja Kitty 2014/08/27 11:26:06 AM
A tip off maybe. The crims had time to get out. The publication of recent raids would have alerted anyone, including the crims.
Hank Thetank 2014/08/27 11:26:36 AM
ANC Hawks got the wrong house... Why try deny it????
Archie Dempster 2014/08/27 11:36:26 AM
I think it's the police is responsible for all damages and and can be sued for damages and the person signing search warrant must really ensure that the police must produce to the house holders a copy of the order otherwise it is an illegal search whether or not the have the order
Thelma Schoeman Nell 2014/08/27 11:42:10 AM
Why am I not surprised! If my memory serves me correct this has happened before where they raided the incorrect premises. They just can't seem to get anything done the correct way!
Mike Botha 2014/08/27 11:50:58 AM
That's bull take them to court , make them pay
SunshinyDay 2014/08/27 12:09:27 PM
So now the owner is going to be left with insurance issues (higher premiums, excesses) because you guys went all Hollywood on the house. You should be the ones paying for the damages.
Theo Marx 2014/08/27 12:14:45 PM
Lekker stupid...
Soula Foord 2014/08/27 12:15:01 PM
Why dont the public go try do the job, and see if they can do it better and never ever bust into the wrong house, whilst watching there own backs at the risk of getting shot. One comment says..take them to court..make them pay. Seriously?? Do you pay the the stupid mistakes you make at work? And dont tell me you dont make any. We all do. Grrr...little grey men who live behind 6'walls with their heads up their behinds.
Deon K. Alexander 2014/08/27 12:42:30 PM
4.417 m ??? Or is it 44.17m,my great grandfather(94) would like to know...
Sabelo Sabz Hlubelikhulu Mcondobi 2014/08/27 01:07:04 PM
Hawks are doing an excellent job in dealing with drug dealers and cigarette smugglers that are funding some within society. Desperate crtics can continue to discredit them. But they are not worse that the apartheid agencies