Customs officer arrested for soliciting R10,000 'bribe' at Cape Town airport

A Cape Town International Airport staff member has been arrested after allegedly trying to solicit a R10,000 bribe from a passenger at customs.
A Cape Town International Airport staff member has been arrested after allegedly trying to solicit a R10,000 bribe from a passenger at customs.
Image: SUHAIB SALEM

When a man returned from Japan on Tuesday, he was told by a customs officer to pay R42,000 in tax duties for items he had bought on his trip.

The customs officer was allegedly trying to solicit a bribe.

“A 45-year-old suspect has been arrested on charges related to fraud and corruption following an incident that occurred at the Cape Town International Airport,” said police spokesperson Mihlali Majikela.

The customs officer allegedly said the passenger wouldn't have to pay the R42,000 — which he said was “excessive” — if he paid the customs officer R10,000. The man refused, and ultimately paid R2,000 at the customs desk before leaving.

“The complainant refused to pay the amount, noting that there were cameras around and that he could be arrested for corruption.

“The officer then advised him to pay R2,000 at the SARS desk and that he would contact him the next day for the R10,000 bribe. The complainant paid the R2,000 at the desk and left,” Majikela said.

The next day, after a complaint was laid, provincial anti-corruption investigating unit officers set up an operation to catch the man accepting the R10,000 bribe.

“The members monitored the operation at a coffee shop in Worcester, during which the complainant paid the officer R10,000 in cash. The officer, a 45-year-old male, was arrested and detained at Worcester SAPS. The money was recovered,” he said.

The customs officer was due to appear at the Worcester magistrate's court on Thursday.


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