Hawks bust city cops

2018-06-26 16:00

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A Hawks team swooped on two Pietermaritzburg policemen on Monday.

The officers were detained at the Mountain Rise police station on drug and corruption related charges arising from an investigation which sources told The Witness had spanned a long time. The pair are expected to appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court today. Official sources remained mum on Monday over the exact nature and details of the charges facing the pair. It is expected that more people will be arrested in connection with the case.

Both suspects are members of the local Flying Squad police unit.

Multiple sources in the police said it was being alleged the pair had been transporting and selling drugs using state vehicles to do so; however, this could not be confirmed.

National Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed the arrests of the two policemen, saying they were arrested by members of the Serious Corruption Investigation Unit.

He confirmed they had been arrested on drug and corruption charges.

“A policeman is not supposed to do this. It is an embarrassment to us,” he said. “Police are the face of the law and the community but these two were arrested for dagga. We will be opposing their bail,” he added.

Sources close to the investigation were tight-lipped and hard-pressed to give details on the arrest and the exact details of what it is the policemen allegedly did. The detained policemen, whose identity is known to The Witness but cannot be revealed until they have appeared in court, are well known in Pietermaritzburg’s police community.

Several police sources said they had known the two men for a number of years and were shocked when they heard about their arrests.

However, three police sources said there had been rumours dating back years concerning members transporting drugs but at the time investigators could never gather enough evidence to detain anyone.

A source, who cannot be named, said the investigation had been kept very quiet over the years in order to gain enough evidence for a “water-tight case” against those involved.

Several Pietermaritzburg police officers told The Witness they first became aware of the detention of the two policemen hours after they were taken to the station. The suspects have both served in the police force for at least 14 years or more.

Last week the chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on police, Francois Beukman, was reported by News24 to have said there is urgent need to implement lifestyle audits on police members to fight against any form of corruption. “Vetting and life­style audits can be an effective way of removing rogue officers within the system and ensure the return of the credibility of the organisation.”

He was commenting after the arrest of an officer in Cape Town for alleged theft of firearms from police stores.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  drug bust

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