• Remember the bomb technician’s motto: “I am a bomb technician, if you see me running, try and keep up!” – In the January 2018 issue of Servamus we share the realities faced by bomb technicians and tell you what it takes to become one.

    Remember the bomb technician’s motto: “I am a bomb technician, if you see me running, try and keep up!” – In the January 2018 issue of Servamus we share the realities faced by bomb technicians and tell you what it takes to become one.

  • In our Community Safety Tips of Servamus: January 2018, we deal with medicine, false advertising, quacks & our health and help you distinguish between facts and fictions in terms of medicine.

    In our Community Safety Tips of Servamus: January 2018, we deal with medicine, false advertising, quacks & our health and help you distinguish between facts and fictions in terms of medicine.

  • In the second part of our short series of “Putting school bullies in their place” – Legally published in Servamus: January 2018, we guide readers you step by step on how to obtain a Harassment Act protection order and the accompanying warrant of arrest..

    In the second part of our short series of “Putting school bullies in their place” – Legally published in Servamus: January 2018, we guide readers you step by step on how to obtain a Harassment Act protection order and the accompanying warrant of arrest..

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- A death sentence

A young woman struggled with her weight for years and became so ashamed of her body that she was afraid to leave her home. Desperate for a solution, she searched the Internet for weight loss drugs and stumbled upon an illicit fat-burning drug, which she ordered. When the yellow tablets arrived, she immediately took some of them, but they sent her heart rate racing and her temperature soaring. The following day her mother found her feverish and sweating in a cold bath, desperately trying to cool down. She was rushed to hospital, but eight hours later she had a fatal heart attack. This young woman’s life was cruelly snatched away, all because she was so desperate to lose weight that she would do anything - even use fake, illicit medication.

Pharmaceutical crimes include the market in counterfeit, falsified and illegally traded medicine, and are not a new phenomenon. According to Bate (2008), counterfeit or illicit pharmaceuticals have been around since the 19th century, when technology advanced and criminal entrepreneurs involved in counterfeiting began producing and distributing fake goods that offered the most lucrative opportunities with minimum legal risk.

In 1985, the World Health Organisation (WHO) first became aware of the public health issues associated with counterfeit medicines and by 2010, it estimated that the global counterfeit pharmaceutical market had a turnover of $75 billion (WHO, 2012). Behner et al (2017) provide more recent figures, according to which sales range from $163 billion to $217 billion per year. In 2017, the WHO said that one of ten medicines that are sold worldwide is illicit, a figure that can reach up to seven out of ten in some countries (http://mediaroom.sanofi.com/fighting-counterfeit-drugs-starts-with-knowing-it-exists). As many as 12.8 million consumers have been exposed to counterfeit medicines in European countries (Jackson et al, 2012). The market in illicit counterfeit pharmaceuticals is the most lucrative sector of the global trade in illegally copied goods (Behner et al, 2017).

Shockingly, Hall et al (2017) stress that the head of Interpol's pharmaceutical crime sub-directorate estimated that each year, across the world, up to one million people die after having consumed illicit medicine, most of whom reside in developing nations. Murumba (2017) notes that, according to the WHO, Africa contributes to 100 000 of these fatalities. Health risks are primarily present in cases of either substandard medicines that contain unsafe or poisonous substances or life-saving medical treatments that lack the effective ingredients (Degardin et al, 2014). Behner et al (2017) stress that beside the fact that illicit medicines harm or kill millions of people around the world, they also inflict serious damage to the genuine brand names and affect the bottom lines of major pharmaceutical manufacturers.

What is pharmaceutical crime?
According to Interpol, pharmaceutical crime involves the manufacture, trade in and distribution of fake, stolen or illicit medicines and medical devices. It encompasses the counterfeiting and falsification of medical products and their packaging and associated documentation, theft, fraud, illicit diversion, smuggling, trafficking and illegal trade of medical products as well as the money laundering associated with it (www.interpol.int/Crime-areas/Pharmaceutical-crime/Pharmaceutical-crime).

Terminology
Hall et al (2017) argue that organisations and researchers have not yet agreed on which terminology to use when speaking about illicit pharmaceuticals. Currently various terms are used for different contexts. These include:

  • falsified medicines, which is a broader term encompassing all pharmaceuticals falsely claiming to be an authentic product (IRACM, 2013);
  • substandard medicines that are genuine products that do not meet national regulatory standards (Degardin et al, 2014);
  • counterfeit medicines, which relates to products that infringe intellectual property rights (WHO, 2012); and
  • unlicensed pharmaceutical drugs, which can be generic or branded products legally produced abroad and then sold in a country with different licensing agreements
  • in order to bypass existing intellectual property laws and patents (www.firstwordpharma.com/ node/1114092#axzz4yPO97Qxm).
  • For the purposes of this article, we will use the term "illicit medicine".

Pharmaceutical crime - a transnational organised crime
Criminal elements have become involved in all aspects of the chain of supply of illicit medicines, from manufacturing to distribution. They are driven by financial gain and in order to make big profits, criminals are usually required to possess a high degree of sophistication and organisation. However, pharmaceutical crime is not understood to be as organised as more established criminal activities, such as drug trafficking or people smuggling. Murumba (2017) stresses that the trafficking of illicit medicine is closely linked to other serious crimes, such as money laundering and the funding of terrorist groups.

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: January 2018. The rest of this article discusses the link between pharmaceutical crime and terrorism; online purchases of illicit medicine; smuggling routes; the criminal syndicates’ modus operandi and how this illicit market is being fought. To enquire how to obtain the complete article, contact Servamus’s offices at tel: 012 345 4660 or send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

 

Servamus - January 2018

The late Hansie Cronjé, South Africa's former cricket captain, was a national hero until cricket's biggest match-fixing scandal destroyed him. In 2000, South Africans and cricket lovers across the world were shocked when Hansie's name was connected with being involved in match-fixing.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
A young woman struggled with her weight for years and became so ashamed of her body that she was afraid to leave her home.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
For the past couple of years South Africans have witnessed the fall of one national police commissioner after another, resulting in Pres Zuma's track record of appointing National Police Commissioners being questioned.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
It is very early on a Monday morning, 03:00 to be exact, and not much is going on at a filling station in Mankweng in Limpopo. But then, suddenly, all hell breaks loose when three vehicles pull up at the station.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - January 2018

Read More - unreported (CC 26/2016) [2017] Zaecpehc 53 (2 November 2017) (ECP)
The reference supra is that of the widely publicised murder trial before the Port Elizabeth High Court in which Christopher Panayiotou and Sinethemba Nemembe were convicted of the murder of the late Ms Jayde Panayiotou who was the wife of Christopher.
Read More - S V Njiva and Another 2017 (1) SACR 395 (ECM)
Section 217(1) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows: “217. Admissibility of confession by accused
Read More - National Commissioner of Police v Southern African Human Rights Litigation Centre and Another 2015 (1) SACR 255 (CC)
In 2007 in Harare, the Zimbabwe police raided the headquarters of the main opposition political party whereafter they detained and allegedly tortured (Afrikaans: "martel") 100 Zimbabwean nationals.

Letters - January 2018

W/O David Pillay retired at the end of November 2017 after having served the South African Police Service and various communities for more than four decades - a lifetime to some.
Over the years, numerous retired police members, usually gathering at the funeral of a former colleague, suggested the formation of an organisation where retired police members could meet regularly to rekindle friendships; form new friendships; and share memories of the past on a regular basis and in an organised manner
Servamus has published a great article on the Tracker SAPS Awards 2017 in the November issue of the magazine whereby all units and nominated members were covered for the absolutely brilliant work they do in partnership with Tracker.
Members of the social crime prevention office of Emanguzi SAPS have been working hard to bring awareness to the local communities in an effort to protect the most vulnerable and youngest members in our communities.
January 2018 Magazine Cover

Servamus' Mission

Servamus is a community-based safety and security magazine for both members of the community as well as safety and security practitioners with the aim of increasing knowledge and sharing information, dedicated to improving their expertise, professionalism and service delivery standards. It promotes sound crime management practices, freedom of speech, education, training, information sharing and a networking platform.