Undercover officers continued to lift the lid on illegal liquor traders, with four suspects arrested and seven shebeens closed down in various parts of the city.

The City of Cape Town said in a statement on Wednesday their Liquor Enforcement Unit teamed up with the police and the Western Cape Liquor Authority in recent days to focus on compliance at nightclubs, shebeens and taverns.

The operations focused on establishments in Mitchell’s Plain, Gugulethu, Philippi East, Lwandle, Nyanga, Belhar and Khayelitsha.

“Officers inspected 39 premises and issued spot fines totalling R14 000 for various by-law contraventions. They also issued 10 compliance notices and confiscated 620 litres of alcohol.”

Seven shebeens – in Lwandle, Khayelitsha, Nyanga and Gugulethu – were closed down.

“We have started using undercover officers to bait illegal operators and the results are clear to see,” said mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith.

“Alcohol abuse is a major contributor to social ills, so we cannot afford to go easy on those who flout the law. We need the public to help us by lifting the lid on illegal shebeens that pop up in their communities, but also the legal ones – some of which insist on pushing the boundaries,” Smith said.

The City’s Vice Squad, together with the Hawks, also arrested seven sex workers, issued fines totalling R4 500 for solicitation, and removed a 17-year-old girl from the streets in Macassar with the assistance of social workers.

The operations were carried out in Somerset West, Brooklyn and Macassar.

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