NATIONAL NEWS - Ten Johannesburg police officers arrested for allegedly attempting to sell counterfeit goods confiscated in raids last week appeared in court yesterday and all the cases were postponed.
Initially, seven police officers were arrested following a police raid in the Johannesburg central business district. The officers allegedly attempted to resell the goods to illegal traders during the raid.
Three more officers were arrested later that week on the same charges.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said that in one incident, a warrant officer and four constables were arrested at Johannesburg Central Police Station after they were caught red-handed trying to sell the goods back to the illegal traders.
In the second incident, two members from the tactical response team were arrested after an investigation into a possible leak about the planned operation in the Johannesburg CBD, Peters said.
“The two were linked through the investigation and an eyewitness account.
“Police believe the loot found in the 46 vehicles in the basement parking at Lister Building could be the cargo that was removed the night before after the illegal traders had received a tip-off,” Peters said.
Chief prosecutor at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court Pumeza Futshane said the two members of the tactical response team were charged with a schedule one offence for defeating the ends of justice and theft.
Their bail application was postponed to today to allow the prosecution to verify their addresses.
Futshane said five officers were being charged with a schedule five offence which would lead to their bail application being heard after seven days. They were being charged with theft, extortion, defeating the ends of justice and corruption.
Their next court appearance would be on August 19.
In the third and most recent incident, it was revealed during court proceedings that three officers were assigned to an unmarked truck during the raid to ferry the confiscated counterfeit goods from the central business district to Johannesburg Stadium to be booked.
While the officers had driven the truck as instructed, they did not drop all the goods off in the stadium and instead drove the truck to their assigned station and parked it in an obscure position.
After discovering the stolen counterfeit goods, the station manager tracked them down and arrested them.
Futshane said this group was also charged with schedule one offences of theft and defeating the ends of justice.
They would appear in court today for their bail applications to allow the prosecution to verify their addresses.