Three Cape Town police officers have been arrested after allegedly stealing a man's cellphones and then demanding R20 000 for them to be returned, Western Cape police said on Wednesday.
The two constables and a sergeant, who are based at Cape Town Central, were arrested on Tuesday on charges of theft, corruption and defeating the administration of justice, a police statement read.
They allegedly searched a man's vehicle in Loop Street earlier this month and found cellphones. They told the man they were arresting him for being in possession of suspected stolen property.
"They took him to the police station and told him to go and find R20 000 in cash for his cellular phones to be returned. One of the members gave him a number for him to call once he [had] the money," the police said.
The man managed to get R5 000 and arranged a meeting with the police officers.
He and a friend were taken to the police station in the central business district and were later allowed to leave without being arrested.
"The complainant also received an SMS from the number the members provided, claiming R20 000. He called the number and he was told that if he pays the money he will be left alone if the members see him on the street again."
The police officers were appearing in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
Acting provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Sindile Mfazi warned that there was no place for corrupt members in the SAPS.
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