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.

  • Ben - 2012-01-12 17:21

    I thought that each policeman receives a monthly salary. Why is this necessary?

      Squeegee - 2012-01-12 17:39


      Carol - 2012-01-12 17:48

      They see "$" signs & grab opportunity. Decent cops leaving by the minute as SAP is TOTAL embarrassment ! They have ZERO pride - entire Force should be fired !!!!! Most citizens have no faith in them. They rape, steal & extort at every turn !!! Cannot be trusted !

      Dirk - 2012-01-12 17:50

      The four obviously undercut the other policemen in their "pricing"

      Beetroot - 2012-01-12 18:02

      Are you retarded! They are just stupid sheltered employment zots that contribute to the rest of the crime rate. I wont say what ethniticity either because statics will just tell you! They prey on their own African brothers! Another fine day in South Africa!

      GWS - 2012-01-12 21:37

      I remember in the 90's when my brother had to go over to one of the African countries on business, and he came back with stories of how the police extorted money from him at airports and check-points all along his travels. NOW South Africa has finally gone that way almost 15 years after my brother's trip. I never dreamt in all my days that this country would become just another sad Banana Republic.

      kobie.nel1 - 2012-01-12 22:58

      @Carol I do belive you generalise a bit, but I'm mostly with you. At least with our comunity watch we have a good few men and women in the stations around here that truely jump when we need them. It is as if they got a bit of hope when we pulled them in and support them when they need some help cornering "jumpers". That is burgulars that jump fences and get away that way. Now it is as if we got a team on standby all the time. Oh well, one of the police stations is not that nice to work with, but to hell with them in any way.

  • cosmos.ndebele - 2012-01-12 17:24

    OR Tambo is a laughing stock, very slow service, corruption!!!

      Kostadinos - 2012-01-12 18:12

      I am so happy that you realise it. Who ever has authority likes to abuse it regretfully this is an African habit. What is next I will stamp your passport to enter the country at a cost of USD100

  • rickvcooper - 2012-01-12 17:26

    Scum - you, SAPS, are civil servants, employed to uphold the law. There are far too many dirty cops in SA.

  • Jerhone - 2012-01-12 17:28

    It's easy to stop extortion and coruption by policemen and women just give them a new contract which they MUST sign, if caught for bribery and extortion the officer will be fired and will forfeit his/her PENSION.Then put up signs in police stations reading "IS YOU BRIBE WORTH YOUR PENSION" which they see walking in and out the police stations everyday

  • Shirley - 2012-01-12 17:40

    Then everyone is so shocked about all the drug mules that enter S.A.!!! These"protectors" of the community are coining it,living on ill gotten money! But then again they were only following what Seleb taught them. Scum!!!!!

  • George - 2012-01-12 17:47

    Selebie's trainees in action

      John - 2012-01-12 17:52

      Spot on George

  • braamc - 2012-01-12 17:50

    At this rate we won't have any SAPS members left, better off that way.

      Gary - 2012-01-13 08:37

      They do squat anyway pal...Thats why the security companies make so much money. I bet if the pigs had to close their doors we would not even notice a difference in crime.

  • Wendy - 2012-01-12 17:52

    Corruption absolutely everywhere .. this is a disgrace. I feel for the police that are upright ..

      Gary - 2012-01-13 08:37

      There are no upstanding cops..

  • jandreleroux - 2012-01-12 17:53

    Its great that they were caught! Thanks to those involved!

      Carol - 2012-01-12 18:01

      This is a fart against a thunderstorm. SAP are corrupt through & through. Cannot be trusted - they rape, steal & bribe left, right & centre ! Successful arrests are a flash in the pan by only 1 or 2 still doing what they are paid for. Big chief as example ??? PLEASE - what can you expect ? !!!

  • stefanie.dutoit.Ash - 2012-01-12 18:06

    Took another page from the books of "policemen" in other African countries. Yet closer we move.

  • Charmaine - 2012-01-12 18:07

    And another one bites the dust, we gave good cops and bad cops all over the world, at least there is a movement here. We need more good cops.

  • John - 2012-01-12 18:10

    So, what's new? Just another NEW SOUTH AFRICAN corrupt cop...............

  • conroy.king - 2012-01-12 18:12

    A quick explanation: the state dept's were used to fast track job creation and a lot of unqualified, unfit individuals filtered through the large cracks that there were in the vetting process.

  • boramk - 2012-01-12 18:16

    As an Asian South African, this happens to me all the time when I arrive from international flights... Oh boy, the look on their faces when they ask for my passport. It's pathetic, they make up any excuses to extort money from me, saying my obviously old laptop wasn't "declared" or that I need to prove what I'm going to do in South Africa even though I clearly live here. I feel sorry for the other Asians they round up. No jokes, when I arrive, they single us out because we always carry cash and most of us don't know English.

      Syd - 2012-01-13 07:04

      You stay here but know English? Guess you're not a Saffa then.

      boramk - 2012-01-13 09:49

      Born in Durban... Live in Johannesburg..

  • Kobus - 2012-01-12 18:21

    The pride of South Africa! What do we expect with two corrupt police comissioners showing the way?

      Frank - 2012-02-07 07:33

      And JZ himself not far behind.

  • herman.booysen - 2012-01-12 18:24

    These are corrupt cops and they must face the music. BUT: in all fairness, they were charged and arrested by the same SAPS mechanism, which, I believe, proves that wholesale condemnation of all SAPS members is unreasonable. While not disputing that corruption has become endemic in South African society, I think we must applaud the work of those (hopefully in the majority) who continue to uphold sound ethics.

  • Carlo Hayes - 2012-01-12 18:25


  • peter.vanachter - 2012-01-12 18:27

    Cops like these realy give the good guys a bad name, i think an internet watch list should be created on these corrupt fellows...

  • Etienne - 2012-01-12 18:45

    I once travelled back into SA with my friend from Botswana, and at the border post he was told he simply had too much money on him (given by his parents in pula for study fees). The two fat, self-satisfied 'public servants' made it very clear that unless he helped them lighten his purse then and there, they were going to keep us overnight and send us to court the next day. Wonder what actually would have happened had we called their bluff? We didn't have the time, though. I simply remember that with a long, drawn-out sigh, as we climbed back into the taxi, I told myself, 'yup, I'm home. This is definitely the SA side of the border'.

  • Trevor - 2012-01-12 19:31

    Listen,cops are people, with guns...a few will be rotten but the problem becomes even worse when the government and even the police BOSS is found OFFICIALLY to be corrupt. When the laws are changed by the politicians, favours are cashed in and parts of the security forces are fired because they are doing their job to good in rooting out the criminals THEN the country is heading for collapse. Once law and order becomes corrupt then you stand NO chance....

  • Bob - 2012-01-12 20:53

    There is a very good reason why they have the nickname "Pigs"

  • Rosamund - 2012-01-12 21:34

    The corruption in this country is beyond "repair". This incedent is the tip of the iceberg of what goes on in this country. Like any south african, I read the newspapers every day, and I realise, wow where will this country be in five years (Politicaly and financially) ??

  • TheWatcher - 2012-01-12 23:13

    Par for Africa. My family used to travel around Africa a lot for holidays and this sort of thing was extremely common. One of the least fun ones (although legit) was the Ugandan visa law being changed between the time we bought the ticket and me boarding the plane. The law changed a day or two before I got on the plane but airports and travel agents weren't notified. I landed in Entebbe airport only to be screamed at by the security clerk and arrested for illegal entry. Took forever to sort out. I was 13 or 14 at the time.

  • Markrschulz - 2012-01-13 03:01

    ACSA employees at OR Thambo are just as bad. When I came back from Asia in 2009, I needed to take a connecting flight back to Durban. My baggage was overweight to the point where I had to pay R300 extra. Instead, they made me an offer I couldn't refuse. They put an underweight sticker on my bag and told me to pay them R200, so I could save myself some money. I protested that I would rather pay the full amount (I hate it that SA runs on corruption!), at which point they 'leaned' on me, and insinuated that my baggage may be lost or damaged in an 'unfortunate accident' should I not pay them to 'take good care of it'.

  • duncan.cramer - 2012-01-13 07:57

    Wow. People sworn to protect abusing their positions of authority. I imagine the government is going to throw the book at them for that infringement. After all, if they are prepared to jail you for 10 years for announcing tha tsevere weather is on its way ( then surely something like this should result in an arm being cut-off.

  • Isabel - 2012-01-13 08:30

    On the 3rd of December two friends of Brazil, quite an older couple, were on their way enroute to Malaysia to visit their daughter who lives there. They were early in line to check in at Malaysian airlines. Their luggage was booked through to Malaysia from Brazil, but suddenly appeared at the Malaysian airline counter in Johannesburg. They were then approached by two black men and a white lady that worked together and demanded money from them for overweight luggage!!!! The luggage was supposed to go right though to Malaysia and was not overweight at all. These two old people was harrased for hours and could not understand a thing this two black men was telling them untill the black man went to fetch the white airport official lady who could speak fluent Portugese. They forced the old people to go to an ATM and continually slapping with their hands on their back pockets, saying: "Money in my pocket, money in my pocket". Well, who do you call? Certainly not the police according to this article!!! Luckily at that point my friend phoned them from Malaysia to ask how they were doing. The old woman and her husband just burst into tears. What a shame South Africa is so well known for its crime all over the world!

      Gail - 2012-01-13 14:38

      I was going to say that perhaps they suspected the couple of being drug mules judging on their point of departure and arrival and the luggage was checked off for that reason but reading the other stories on here makes me grateful that this has not happened to me yet.

  • Gary - 2012-01-13 08:33

    Another corrupt PIG surprise surprise.. @Ben S because they are the cancer of South Africa my mate. And there are hundreds more like them. I have crossed paths with more corrupt pigs than honest ones. Such a shame..

  • Mike - 2012-01-13 08:51

    Exactly what happened to us yesterday where on arrival from Swaziland the Health Official at Golela border post demanded to see our Yellow Fever Certificate - even though Swaziland does not require one. She made up her own law, as we were in Rwanda early December but returned to SA and produced those on arrival in Johannesburg. The rude and arrogant official kept us at the border post for over an hour - until we got hold of someone higher up and finally were released. We did not give her a bribe; as all of us stood our ground. But so typical 2 minutes into the country and already faced with inefficiency, racism, stupidity and arrogance... Astonishing that in a week in Swaziland we only encountered friendly and courteous officials...

  • Rob - 2012-01-13 12:06

    It surely cannot be a country-wide programme to annoy non-blacks, I doubt if this government could organise that, but it does feel like a deliberate attempt to make some of us feel phsycologically dislocated. Sooner or later you start to ask how you can continue putting up with so much crime, corruption, inefficiency, rubbish and polution. Maybe it really is time to consider moving into a much smaller place with a less comfortable climate, but with fewer societal terrorists.

      Gail - 2012-01-13 14:44

      I think the place you are thinking of moving to is just as bad and there you are likely to be target of extremists against them at any point on your holiday/stay. I have only ever encountered polite, friendly smiling faces on my departure and return but maybe that is my age? Maybe it is because I am always polite and friendly to people no matter who they may be whether travelling or here at home. I haven't travelled in the last year so maybe things have deteriorated?

  • Cristina - 2012-02-07 05:32

    I mean really!!! come on, even at the Airport??!!!! These useless and shameless cops should be pension please!!!

  • Jeremy - 2012-02-07 12:07

    This happened to me two weeks ago at King Shaka Durban. You go through passport control no problem, then comes the SAPS, who demand to see your passport. I was then sent through the red channel for a formal grilling. The two thugs there wanted to know how much money I had on me. Once they established that i had foreign currency they then tried to bully me out of it. I just kept demanding to see a senior officer who would confirm that it was illegal to bring in Pounds sterling as a UK national. I thought I was helping the country build its reserves. I stood my ground, and was eventually allowed out, with a warning that they were watching me. By whose authority are police selecting people to be searched, and why were every single one of them European?

  • pages:
  • 1