5 Western Cape cops arrested for corruption, drug dealing

SA Police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)
SA Police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Five police officers based in the West Coast town of Vredenburg have been arrested on suspicion of crimes including falsifying information and colluding with members of the public to have drugs transported.

They allegedly committed these crimes while they were meant to be conducting crime prevention operations and duties at court.

Western Cape police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk said on Wednesday that four of the officers - two sergeants and two constables - had been suspended.

The fifth has resigned.

Undercover operation

Van Wyk said that the five suspects had been arrested on Tuesday following a lengthy undercover operation carried out by Crime Intelligence officers and the Anti-Corruption Investigating Unit.

The five were expected to appear in a court in Vredenburg on Thursday.

Van Wyk said they would face charges relating to the disclosure of unauthorised information, fraud, drug dealing and corruption.

"The suspects are alleged to have committed illicit activities while deployed to perform court and crime prevention duties," he said.

"It is further alleged the suspects were colluding with members of the public to carry out activities such as the transportation of drugs while on duty, taking bribes and falsifying information."

Previous drug and fraud arrests in Vredenburg

Earlier this month, four suspects were arrested on fraud and corruption charges relating to the processing of fraudulent vehicle certificates.

In November 2016, News24 reported that four suspects were arrested in Vredenburg after 771 000 Mandrax tablets were discovered hidden in false compartments in a truck believed to have been part of a drug convoy.

The four suspects were from Gauteng.

In November 2017, a father from Soweto, Hosia Mathoho, was convicted of smuggling Mandrax in a truck in exchange for R40 000, following his arrest in Vredenburg.

READ: How a Soweto father of 7 became a convicted mandrax smuggler

He had been arrested with three others, but charges against them had been withdrawn.

Mathoho entered into a deal with the State in terms of which he pleaded guilty to dealing in 167 509 mandrax tablets, valued at R7 537 905.

It was Mathoho's first offence.

He was sentenced to 15 years in jail, of which seven were suspended for five years on condition that he was not again convicted of any offence under the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act.

"The offence is of a serious nature, societal impact is enormous, addiction to hardcore drugs like [mandrax] destroys family ties and the future of the affected individuals," the plea agreement in the case said.

"Incidents of dealing in huge consignments of hardcore drugs have risen considerably recently."

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