Airport cops arrested for extortion

2012-01-12 17:12
Johannesburg - Four police officers stationed at OR Tambo International were arrested at the airport on Thursday on charges of extortion, police said.

The arrests follow the arrival of a Ghanaian national on January 1 who, after passing through customs, was stopped by police at the arrivals lobby, said Colonel Vishnu Naidoo.

"The police demanded that he produce an invitation to justify his visit to South Africa."

The man then produced his passport and his visa and said he did not need a letter of invitation.

"The officers allegedly demanded $100 from the man and threatened him with deportation. Fearing he would be deported, the man instead said he had $50," said Naidoo.

He said the officers then ordered the man to convert the dollars into rand currency and pay it to them.

The matter was then brought to the attention of OR Tambo's police management and an inquiry was initiated and evidence gathered.

"The Ghanaian man was eventually traced to a place in Gauteng and an affidavit was obtained from him earlier this week.

"On the premise of the affidavit and evidence obtained, a sergeant and three constables stationed OR Tambo International Airport were arrested this morning [Thursday].

The officers were expected to appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Monday.

"The investigation team at OR Tambo international has been praised for working tirelessly on this matter despite the fact that no criminal case was initially opened," said Naidoo.

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