The shuttered alcohol shops have prompted a growth in the black market in the sale of alcohol in South Africa despite reduced crime rates, says a report. On Sunday, April 12, two police officers were caught for the illegal trade of the liquor in the country.

South Africa's police minister Bheki Cele has said that the lockdown has shown a reduction in the crime rate but there have been other illegal methods through which people are buying alcohol. According to a statement reported by the police around 16 cases of burglary and the looting of liquor stores in the Western Cape, home to the city of Cape Town, were reported.

On Thursday, April 9, two officers were caught along with a cashier and a store owner buying alcohol for resale. The next day two other members of the police force were caught while escorting three-light pick-up trucks loaded with alcohol. The statement also said that the people who were undermining the efforts by the government while combating the coronavirus would be found and dealt with decisively, said the statement.

Bheki Cele on lifting the ban on alcohol

Alcohol
Pixabay

Several have been arrested for the sale of alcohol in the country in the span of 21 days during the lockdown. The Police Minister commended the apprehension of 21 suspects allegedly behind 16 incidents of liquor store looting. The minister also noted the connection of the police forces in the crimes amid the lockdown.

General Bheki Cele has said that the ban on the sale of alcohol won't be lifted during the lockdown. He also mentioned to the press that the main concern should be the pandemic that has been affecting the world. The minister is said to be in the discussion on issuing warnings to those undermining the efforts by the authorities to safely fight the coronavirus. Police have also been looking into the home breweries selling alcohol in the country.

There have been more than 2,000 cases of the coronavirus in the country with around 25 deaths so far. The country has extended the lockdown.