Bribe flops as cops nab 'kingpin'

Pertunia Ratsatsi

Pertunia Ratsatsi

A Diepsloot man who evaded police for 10 months has finally been arrested after he gave the investigating officer a call.

"My brother, let's talk. Give me my guns and the documents you confiscated, and I will pay you," the suspect said.

Police then set a trap and arrested Vusi Ndlovu, 28.

He had offered the detective R2500 to squash the case against him and for two 9mm pistols, several fraudulent car registration papers and passports.

"We paid him the bribe and then shocked him by telling him that he was under arrest," said police spokesman Superintendent Tobie Strauss

Ndlovu was fingered as the kingpin in a syndicate that was hijacking cars and sending them to neighbouring countries.

He was fingered by three men who were arrested with stolen cars in October last year.

Police raided his Diepsloot home and confiscated the guns, registration papers, passports and took his bank card.

Strauss said "We've been looking for him for more than 10 months now. He called one of our officers on Sunday and asked him to arrange for his belongings to be returned to him and to help him register a hijacked vehicle.

"He also asked the officer to help him secure bail for three of his gang members arrested for hijacking. The three suspects - Robert Ndlovu, 29, Johannes Mncube, 18, and Xolani Dlamini, 28, - were arrested in October for hijacking a silver Toyota Corolla.

"Upon investigations police learnt that Ndlovu was the mastermind of the hijackings. They went to his house and confiscated his belongings and he has been on the run since then," said Strauss.

Strauss said police decided to set a trap for Ndlovu after he had arranged to meet a detective sergeant at a shopping centre in Ebony Park.

"The meeting went as planned and Ndlovu was arrested after handing over the money to the officer at about 12am on Sunday."

Ndlovu appeared briefly in the Tembisa magistrate's court yesterday on a charge of bribery.

He was remanded in custody for further investigation. The case was postponed to next Tuesday.

"We are hoping to link him to other hijackings and a charge of fraud is expected to be added after further investigations," said Strauss.