Cop corruption trial within a trial

2013-07-19 06:56
(File, supplied)

(File, supplied)

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Cape Town - A corruption case involving a police constable, also charged with dealing in drugs, turned into a trial within a trial on Thursday in the Bellville Commercial Crime Court in Cape Town.

The case involves Ricardo Abrahams, a former police constable based at the Grassy Park police station on the Cape Flats, and Leonard Cupido.

Cupido allegedly assisted Abrahams to obtain the drug "tik".

At Thursday’s proceedings, Warrant Officer Randall Wessel told the court that Cupido had made a statement to him admitting his involvement with Abrahams.

However, Vincent van Greunen, for Abrahams and Cupido, said Cupido would deny making such a statement at all.

Cupido's denial led to a trial within a trial, at which Wessel read the alleged statement to the court.

Wessel told the court that complaints about corruption at the Grassy Park police station led to Abrahams’s arrest on charges of corruption and drug-dealing.

Both Abrahams and Cupido have pleaded not guilty - Abrahams to two counts of corruption and two of dealing in the drug "tik", and Cupido to two drug charges only.

Wessel told the court that he started an intelligence-gathering inquiry into corruption at the police station, after complaints from the Grassy Park residents.

Abrahams was allegedly one of the corrupt officials, and he engaged agents, normally used in under-cover police operations, and informers to verify the complaints.

An agent contacted Abrahams, and reported to Wessel that Abrahams was in fact involved in corruption, and was willing to obtain tik for the agent.

Abrahams's modus operandi was to search a suspect's vehicle and to keep any drugs found for himself.

He would then sell it to known drug dealers in the neighbourhood.

No arrest would be made, or charges laid against the suspect whose car had been searched, Wessel said.

According to the agent, Abrahams’s “service” was available for a fee, and the process could only happen whilst Abrahams was on duty.

Wessels said normal police methods could not be used to bring drug traffickers to book, as they were “street wise”.

Wessels added: “The agent approaches a targeted police official, to see if the target is willing to sell and deliver drugs to the agent.

"The agent must be willing to testify in any court proceedings resulting from such an operation."

After the intelligence-gathering operation involving Abrahams, authority was given by the local Directorate for Public Prosecutions to set up a special under-cover operation to trap Abrahams, Wessel said.

The agent later arranged with Abrahams to meet him on a Saturday morning, in November 2011, with 5g of tik, for R800 and Abrahams was given an extra R300 for his services.

Prosecutor Simon Leope alleges that the second drug transaction took place in December of that year, when Abrahams received a R400 gratification.

The case continues on Friday.

Read more on:    saps  |  cape town  |  narcotics

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