Customs officer arrested

2019-10-15 06:01

A 45-year-old suspect has been arrested on charges related to fraud and corruption following an incident at the Cape Town International Airport on Tuesday 8 October.

According to police reports, the complainant arrived from an overseas trip (Japan) and was approached by a customs and excise officer who informed him that he would have to pay R42 000 in tax duties for items he bought on his trip.

Provincial police spokesperson Mihlali Majikela says the complainant told the officer it was an excessive amount to pay.

“In response, the officer advised him to draw R10 000 at an ATM and pay the amount to him as a bribe. The complainant refused to pay the amount, noting that there were cameras around and that he could be arrested for corruption.

“The officer then advised him to pay R2 000 at the South African Revenue Service (SARS) desk and that he would contact him the next day for the R10 000 bribe,” Majikela says.

The complainant paid the R2 000 at the desk and left.

The following day, 9 October, the anti-corruption investigating unit for the Western Cape were informed about a meeting arranged between the officer and the complainant to hand over the R10 000 bribe and, subsequently, authorisation was obtained to conduct an operation under the Criminal Procedure Act 51/1977.

“At about 11:20, the members monitored the operation at a coffee shop in Worcester, during which the complainant paid the officer R10 000 in cash. The officer was arrested and detained at Worcester police station. The money was recovered,” says Majikela.

The suspect appeared in the Worcester magistrate’s court on Thursday 10 October.

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