10 Durban cops to appear in court for stealing cigarettes and cash – police

Members of the South African Police Service.
Members of the South African Police Service.
ER Lombard, Gallo Images
  • 10 Durban police officers are to appear in for allegedly stealing cigarettes and R250K in cash in two separate incidents.
  • 3 of the officers are from the Chatsworth police station and seven are ex-eThekwini Inner South Cluster Task Team members.
  • The provincial police commissioner called on communities to help rid the police force of corrupt officers.

Ten Durban police officers have been arrested for allegedly stealing cigarettes and R250 000 in cash in two separate incidents, and they are expected to appear in court later on Friday morning.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said the provincial Anti-Corruption Unit and Pinetown Cluster Detective Task Team first bust three Chatsworth police station officers in the early hours of Thursday morning.

"The complainant told police that on 8 May he and his friends proceeded to Unit 5 in Chatsworth to buy cigarettes. As they left the premises, an unmarked police vehicle stopped them, and three police officers alighted from the vehicle."

Naicker said the police officers questioned them and searched their vehicle.

"The police officers then stole five cases of cigarettes as well as R4 000 in cash from them. When the complainant proceeded to the police station to enquire about his case, he realised that the police officers did not hand in the seized items."

He said the matter was then reported to the provincial Anti-Corruption Unit for investigation.

"This morning (Thursday) detectives arrested the three police officers for corruption and theft."

READ | Why Bheki Cele could face a legal challenge for confiscating alcohol

In the second incident, Naicker said seven officers from the former eThekwini Inner South Cluster Task Team approached a shop owner on 8 June in Unit 3, Chatsworth.

"The police officers accused him of selling cigarettes. Following a search of the premises, the police officers charged him for selling cigarettes and for bribing them with R20 000 in cash. When the man returned to his shop, he realised that the suspects had removed two boxes containing R250 000 in cash as well as cigarettes."

Naicker said the shop owner reported the theft to police in Chatsworth who contacted the Anti-Corruption Unit.

"[On Thursday] detectives arrested the seven police officers for corruption and theft. They will appear in the Chatsworth Magistrate's Court. We expect more arrests as investigations into their involvement in similar crimes are ongoing."

READ | The law says police are allowed to use deadly force to defend and protect - Cele

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula welcomed the arrests.

"This latest breakthrough is yet another endeavour in our promise to rid this province of corrupt police officers and confirms that our citizens have confidence in our ability to take serious action against any of our police officers break the law."

He thanked and encouraged the community to continue outing corrupt officers.

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