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10 Chatsworth cops smoked out in cigarette and cash busts

Ten Chatsworth policemen were arrested in two separate incidents related to cigarette theft on Thursday.
Ten Chatsworth policemen were arrested in two separate incidents related to cigarette theft on Thursday.

Ten policemen from Chatsworth, south of Durban, were bust by a team of detectives in two separate cases involving the theft of cash and cigarettes. 

In a statement, Brigadier Jay Naicker said detectives from the provincial Anti-Corruption Unit and Pinetown Cluster Detective Task Team arrested the officers in Chatsworth after complaints in May and June.

“In the first case, the complainant told police that on May 8 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. The police officers questioned them and searched their vehicle. The police officers then allegedly stole five cases of cigarettes as well as R4,000 in cash from them.

“When the complainant proceeded to the police station to ask about his case, he realised that the police officers did not hand in the seized items. He reported the matter to the Provincial Anti-Corruption Unit for investigation.”

He said the three police officers were arrested for corruption and theft on Thursday morning and will appear in the Chatsworth magistrate's court on Friday.

Naicker said in the second incident, the complainant said seven police officers approached him on June 8 at his Unit 3 shop and 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 said he realised that the suspects had removed two boxes containing R250,000 in cash as well as cigarettes. He reported the theft to police at Chatsworth who contacted the Provincial Anti-Corruption Unit.”

Naicker said the seven officers were also arrested for corruption and theft and are expected to appear in court on Friday.

“We expect more arrests as investigations into their involvement in similar crimes are ongoing. We once again salute those who report such corrupt activities to police. We certainly do not need such individuals in our communities,” KZN provincial commissioner in KwaZulu-Natal, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula added. 

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