The flying squad used to be the best of the best. Now the National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole had to admit this unit has a serious corrupt element.
Sitole sys the arrest of five police officers for their alleged involvement in human trafficking, kidnapping and extortion in two separate incidents must be welcomed.
In the first incident, on 27 March 2019, ten Bangladeshi nationals who were being smuggled through Zimbabwe into South Africa were allegedly kidnapped on the N1 by four SAPS Silverton Flying Squad members driving in two marked police vehicles.
According to police, four days later, two out of the 10 victims were released after their families had paid a ransom.
SAPS National Crime Intelligence worked tirelessly with the investigators on the case and identified four Silverton Flying Squad Constables that are alleged to have kidnapped the victims.
A warrant for the arrest of each of the suspects was obtained earlier this week and this morning during a multi-disciplinary operation comprising of members of the National Crime Intelligence Unit, Villeria Detectives, Trio Task Team and the Organised Crime Investigations Unit, supported by the Special Task Force, three of the constables were nabbed at the Silverton 10111 Centre.
The fourth member had not reported for duty by that time but his arrest will be effected soon, said the SAPS.
In a separate matter, two members of a stabilisation intervention in Mamelodi were also arrested on allegations of extortion.
A man, allegedly a drug dealer, contacted the SAPS Anti-Corruption unit and informed them that police members were demanding money from him.
The two members, one from Silverton SAPS (currently deployed at the Combating and Response Team in Mamelodi) the other from the Provincial Anti-Gang Unit were arrested at a restaurant in Silverton last night and the “extortion” money was recovered from them.
The National Commissioner expressed disappointment at the alleged transgressions by the police members.
“It is disheartening when members who are entrusted with the safety of law-abiding citizens are seen to be committing crimes themselves.
“While we allow for justice to take its course, the arrest of these members should serve as a warning to other law enforcement officials that criminality within our ranks will not be tolerated,” General Sitole said.
All of those arrested are currently in police custody and will be brought before court this week on their respective charges.