Actor arrested for kidnapping and extortion in fake diamond deal
An actor and two other suspects have been arrested on a series of charges which include impersonating a police officer, kidnapping and extortion, the Hawks said on Sunday.
Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said the actor and his co-accused were arrested on Friday at Southgate Mall, south of Johannesburg, for allegedly attempting to extort money from a businessman. Extortion suspects cannot be named before pleading in court.
It is alleged that the businessman was contacted in June by one of the suspects, who claimed he had been referred to him by a partner. The two met in Isando, Ekurhuleni, but later drove to a house in Klopperpark, east of Johannesburg.
When they arrived at the house, the businessman claimed that the man took out diamonds and placed it on a table.
Mulamu said two others, who presented themselves as police officers, had then come out "of nowhere" and joined them.
She said they demanded a R100,000 bribe from the businessman to quash the illegal diamond deal case.
They also demanded to be shown his bank balance on his cell phone, and forcibly took him to Kempton Park and Fourways where he managed to withdraw R31,000.
He was later released and reported the matter to police.
On Friday, the Hawks set up trap for a drop-off at Southgate where the balance of the R100,000 would be paid.
"One of the suspects jumped into the complainant’s [businessman's] vehicle to collect the money and he was arrested after the exchange.
"The two other suspects who were in two separate vehicles attempted to escape after witnessing the arrest but they were apprehended following a chase not far from the crime scene."
The trio, aged between 27 and 38, are expected to appear in the Booysens Magistrate's Court on Monday.
They face charges of impersonating police officials, extortion, theft, kidnapping, corruption, defeating the ends of justice and aiding a criminal.