Home » Judicial » 19 SA Police Officers Arrested Over Smuggling Cigarettes

A task team led by South Africa’s National Commissioner of police, Riah Phiyega has arrested 19 police officers in Limpopo province for facilitating the illegal smuggling of cigarettes from Zimbabwe into that country. The 19 were arrested on Friday by a team comprising members of the Crime Intelligence and detectives investigating the involvement of the police in distributing illegal cigarettes.

The operation to arrest the 19 officers, which consisted of six warrant officers and 13 constables, started at 4am.

SAPS national commissioner General Phiyega made the revelations at Morebeng Police Station (formerly Soekmekaar), where nine of the 19 police officers were arrested.

“We have been working on this for nearly two years, gathering credible evidence against these officers. They were allegedly involved in escorting vehicles carrying illegal cigarettes from Zimbabwe in exchange for money. We obtained warrants of arrest for all 19 officers”, she said.

General Phiyega said the officers will possibly be charged with corruption, defeating the ends of justice and money laundering.

“After receiving the bribes, instead of arresting the suspects, the police escorted the vehicles carrying illicit cigarettes, ensuring the suspects evaded arrest by other law-enforcement officers,” she said.

Source : The Herald