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Thu Aug 25 01:21:02 CAT 2016

Alleged coffee bean syndicate accused of trying to bribe Hawks cop, arrested

TMG Digital | 11 March, 2016 14:10
The suspects had wanted the investigating officer to destroy a case of three of their friends who were arrested for the theft of R1.5 million worth of coffee beans in Durban last year. File photo
Image by: ©PHB.cz (Richard Semik) /shutterstock.com

Two men who allegedly handed R400‚000 in cold‚ hard cash to a Hawks officer as a bribe to destroy evidence have instead been arrested‚ the elite police investigation unit said on Friday.

Major Robert Netshiunda said the bust once again proved "the integrity of Hawks members" was "beyond reproach".

The suspects had wanted the investigating officer to destroy a case of three of their friends who were arrested for the theft of R1.5 million worth of coffee beans in Durban last year‚ Netshiunda said.

He said the two men approached the Hawks who were working with the Forensic Laboratory members in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday‚ to negotiate a deal aimed at destroying the case against George Charalambus (53)‚ Selvanathan Chetty (43) and Richard Seaman (47) who were arrested in November 2015.

"One of the suspects who attempted to bribe the Hawks was Charalambus‚ a business owner in the area who was out on a R10‚000 bail which was granted to him and his three accomplices by the Durban Magistrate’s Court‚" the Hawks alleged.

Now‚ instead of returning to court next month‚ Netshiunda said "Charalambus fast-forwarded his time to face the courts and will be in the dock today (Friday) at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court together with another 50-year-old man for bribing a police officer".

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