Cops arrested for attempting to 'resell' confiscated fake goods after Joburg CBD raid
Seven police officers were arrested for corruption and defeating the ends of justice after a crackdown on counterfeit goods in the Johannesburg CBD on Wednesday.
Police closed Von Weilligh and Rahima Moosa streets to conduct the raid.
Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters on Thursday confirmed the arrests.
In the first incident, a warrant officer and four constables were arrested at Johannesburg Central police station after they were caught allegedly attempting to resell confiscated goods to illegal traders, Peters said.
Meanwhile, two members from the Tactical Response Team (TRT) were arrested after police investigated a possible leak of information about the operation.
"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," she said.
During the operation, more than 560 undocumented foreigners were taken in for processing.
The department of home affairs is expected to determine their status in the country. They will also be processed for criminal records.
Peters said several unlicensed firearms, including six rifles, six pistols, four shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were found in a room on the 12th floor of Medical One Shopping Centre in Rahima Moosa Street.
A man was arrested and the firearms will be sent for ballistic testing to determine if they have been used in the commission of crimes.
Truckloads of counterfeit goods, including clothing and sneakers, were confiscated from buildings. The value is unclear.
The confiscated goods will be disposed of soon.
Police minister Bheki Cele congratulated those involved in the operation.
"Bravo to the SAPS. We remain resolute of the capabilities of our men and women in blue. We told the nation that we will continue to stamp the authority of the state.
"We cannot have parallel governance with criminals. Therefore we will continue to squeeze the space for criminals to zero, regardless of race, gender or nationality."
Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela said "no one was above the law".
"We certainly hope that the arrest of seven of our own will prove to the people of Gauteng that we are serious about eradicating crime, even if it means arresting our own."
Gauteng premier David Makhura also commended officers and welcomed the arrests.
"As South Africans, we must work collectively to build our economy and create much-needed jobs. We need to make a significant dent in the illegal trade of counterfeit goods, as it poses an economic risk against our efforts as a country,” he said.