Three Gauteng police officers, an ex-officer and a civilian have been arrested on charges of extortion, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice for allegedly attempting to solicit a bribe for the release of a panel van full of Swaziland dagga.
The arrests took place on Tuesday after police reacted to a tip-off about the alleged corrupt activity in the basement at the Johannesburg Central police station.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said police station management and members of the anti-corruption investigating unit went to the basement.
“They found and questioned five males in the basement who told police that their relative’s panel van had been seized by policemen who had offered to release the vehicle and the driver in exchange for cash. The said panel van vehicle was loaded with compressed dagga allegedly from Swaziland.
“Upon searching the suspects, cash which the suspects could not account for was found in their possession. They were arrested immediately and charged with defeating the ends of justice, extortion and kidnapping,” said Peters.
They are expected to appear in court soon.
Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias reiterated that the police’s stance on rooting out corrupt elements from within their ranks.
“This arrest must send out a stern warning to those police officers who might be harbouring thoughts of engaging in corrupt activities. We will not hesitate to deal with them decisively,” Mawela said.