Free State police officers arrested for fraud and corruption

31 January 2017 - 19:06 By TMG Digital
A Hawks police vehicle. File Photo.
A Hawks police vehicle. File Photo.
Image: Gallo Images / Beeld / Felix Dlangamandla

Six police officers‚ two of them senior officers‚ have been arrested by the Hawks in the Free State for allegedly submitting fake claims and requesting cash advances amounting to more than R5.2 million using the personal details of other senior colleagues.

The officers‚ who face fraud‚ corruption and theft charges‚ were arrested during a successful takedown operation following the conclusion of a major investigation‚ according to Hawks spokesman Captain Philani Nkwalase.

They include a lieutenant-colonel working at Provincial Vispol and another lieutenant-colonel working at Public Order Police (POP)‚ both of whom are 48 years old. Three constables attached to the Tactical Response Team (TRT) and a finance administration clerk attached to the provincial finance office were also apprehended.

More arrests were expected as the investigation continued‚ Nkwalase said.

“Hawks investigations ensued in September 2016 soon after it was established that some units’ budgets were depleted yet unaccounted for. Further investigations revealed that personal particulars of other senior colleagues were used to submit fictitious application requesting cash advances and claims that varied from meals‚ accommodation costs and other assortment of claims.

“The alleged fraudulent transactions were committed between April 2015 and September 2016‚ worth a total of more than R5.2 million. All six suspects are expected to appear before the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday‚ 1 February 2017‚” Nkwalase said.

National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Lieutenant-General Berning Ntlemeza has applauded the Hawks members for “unearthing corruption and dealing with corrupt officials accordingly”.

“We continually say corruption will not be tolerated‚ even within our ranks. We are mandated to curb all corrupt activities and we will do that without fear or favour. These arrests should serve as a deterrent to other police officers and civil servants alike that the Hawks will stop at nothing in investigating corrupt activities and ensuring that those implicated face the wrath of the law.”