5 Western Cape police officers arrested for corruption, drug trafficking

Five police officers in Vredenburg, a city on the west coast, have been arrested on suspicion of crimes, including the falsification of information and the collusion with people to have drugs transported.

They would have committed these crimes while they were meant to carry out crime prevention operations and duties at the court.

The spokesman for the Western Cape, Captain Frederick van Wyk, said Wednesday that four of the officers – two sergeants and two agents – had been suspended.

The fifth has resigned.

Undercover operation

Van Wyk said the five suspects were arrested on Tuesday after a lengthy undercover operation by Crime Intelligence officers and the Anti-Corruption Investigating Unit.

The five are expected to appear on Thursday in the court in Vredenburg.

Van Wyk said that they would be faced with charges related to the disclosure of unauthorized information, fraud, drug trafficking and corruption.

"The suspects would have committed illegal activities while they were deployed to carry out judicial and crime prevention duties," he said.

"Furthermore, it is alleged that the suspects conspired with members of the public to carry out activities such as the transport of drugs during work, accepting bribes and falsifying information."

Previous drug and fraud arrests in Vredenburg

Earlier this month, four suspects were arrested on fraud and corruption charges related 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 be 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 into a truck in exchange for R40,000, after 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He had been arrested with three others, but charges against them had been withdrawn.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 made a deal with the state, in which he was guilty of trading in 167,559 mandrax tablets, with a value of R7,537,905.

It was Mathoho's first offense.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, of which seven were suspended for five years, on condition that he was not convicted again for a violation of the Drugs and Drugs Act.

"The crime is serious, the social impact is enormous, addiction to hardcore drugs such as [mandrax] destroys family ties and the future of the affected people ", according to the plea in the case.

"Incidents in large batches of hardcore drugs have increased significantly recently."

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