'For R200,000, I'll make the case go away': Bogus Hawks officer tries to cash in on state capture probe
A bogus Hawks officer who attempted to extort a large sum of money to quash an investigation against one of the people mentioned in the commission of inquiry into state capture has been arrested.
Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said the 34-year-old man was arrested in Sandton on Tuesday. He is expected to appear in the Wynburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
Mulaudzi said the arrest comes after the Gauteng Hawks' serious corruption investigation members were alerted of the blackmail.
"The suspect had allegedly told the complainant that he was a Hawks member and promised to make investigations against him by the Hawks and NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] disappear."
The man demanded R200,000 and at the first meeting the complainant gave him R8,000.
Mulaudzi said the complainant promised that he would pay the balance later that afternoon.
At the second meeting, the man was arrested by the Hawks.
Mulaudzi said the man was clad in Hawks regalia and was found in possession of police, Hawks and NPA documents. He also had a false Hawks appointment certificate.
Hawks boss Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya said the arrest "removed the threat posed by the suspect on the community".
"We encourage members of the public to continue to provide information on criminals. The days of faking Hawks are over," Lebeya said.