Four police officers will appear before the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court today after they allegedly abducted 10 Bangladesh nationals while they were being smuggled into the country illegally.
The four allegedly kidnapped the Bangladeshis on March 27 while they were being smuggled into the country through Zimbabwe.
The officers took the foreign nationals from the N1 highway while driving in two marked police vehicles. The 10 Bangladeshis were held in custody, with only two released four days later after their families paid the officers an undisclosed ransom money.
The police’s crime intelligence unit, which investigated the matter, identified the four constables.
Three of the officers were arrested at the Silverton 10111 centre after a warrant of arrest was obtained. The fourth was arrested the following day after he failed to report for duty, police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Moridili said yesterday.
“They all appeared before the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court at the same time shortly after their arrest and were each granted bail of R3,000. They will be appearing again [on Wednesday] at the same court,” she said, adding the 10 Bangladeshis were detained as they were not documented.
“The victims were booked through the system as some were illegal immigrants. Police are still looking for the two Bangladeshi nationals who were released after ransom was paid,” she said.
In the same week, two other officers were arrested for extorting money from a drug dealer. The officers, one from Silverton police station and the other from the provincial anti-gang unit, were detained at a Silverton restaurant earlier this month after the drug dealer called the police.
Police commissioner General Khehla Sitole said: “While we allow for justice to take its course, the arrest of these members should serve as a warning to other law enforcement officials.”