Former SA cop arrested in Peru for alleged drug trafficking

2016-03-04 12:22
Police often fail to act on protection orders, leaving the perpetrator free to continue abusing his victim
PHOTO: Doug Berry / Getty Images

Police often fail to act on protection orders, leaving the perpetrator free to continue abusing his victim PHOTO: Doug Berry / Getty Images

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Durban – Mystery surrounds the arrest of a former Durban metro police officer who has been detained for alleged drug trafficking in Peru.

The family of Edward John Thompson, aged 42, believes that he was set up during a short stint as a bodyguard overseas last month and that he has been falsely accused of committing the crime.

Dion Thompson, aged 51, said his brother informed him that he had received a job as a bodyguard in February.

"He told me that he was flying out on Tuesday, February 9. We didn’t speak that often after he left until Sunday, February 20. He told me that he was supposed to fly back, but that the one-week job had been extended for another week."

Thompson said he received a phone call from his brother on Friday, February 18, who told him he would be back in South Africa on the following Monday.

"He said there were problems with the flights. The last time he was active on Whatsapp was on February 20."

Thompson said on Wednesday, February 23, he received a phone call from his father.

"He told me that he received a phone call from the director of international relations and he told him that my brother had been arrested and charged with drug trafficking in Peru."

Thompson said he was surprised when he heard the news.

Please support Ed Thompson

"My brother is an ex-cop and he served in the military. That is something that he would never do."

He said, after hearing the news, the family had had limited access to Thompson and had only heard from him on Facebook.

The family was informed that that the initial total legal costs would be around $10 000, about R150 000, so they have turned to members of the public for assistance to help raise money to pay for the legal costs.

A Facebook page called the Support for Ed Thompson was set up this week and about R4 000 had already been raised.

A Facebook post on the page reads: "Please support Ed Thompson who has been falsely accused and set up whilst doing work Peru and has been arrested for possession of drugs.

"We humbly request donations to help with legal and humanity costs to try free an honest law abiding ex metro policeman who has been wrongly accused and who without us may face a prison term of up to 15 years in a Peru prison and leave behind two boys."

Dion Thompson said: "We have received a lot of support, with people pledging to assist. We want to help so that he can see his two boys again."

Thompson said his nephews were being cared for by their mother.

"The incident has taken a lot of strain on the family, particularly on my father. He is 72. It is really difficult," said Thompson.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson Nelson Kgwete said the department had informed the family about the matter.

"We are offering consular services to him, but we will not be paying for the legal fees."

Kgwete said the government would wait for Thompson to appear in court to establish what the charges were.

"We are not sure if he has been formally charged. We have been following steps that follow after a person has been arrested, which is to facilitate communication with the family," Kgwete.

Read more on:    metro police  |  durban  |  peru  |  narcotics  |  crime

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