Friday, 25 November 2016

TWO COPS UP FOR $360 EXTORTION

TWO police officers have been arrested on allegations of extorting $360 from a motorist whom they threatened to arrest on trumped up charges of picking up a prostitute.

Constables Ngqabutho Nkomazana based in Gwanda and Lungile Mpofu based at Bulawayo Central Police Station were not asked to plead to the extortion charge when they appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Tinashe Tashaya. They were remanded out of custody to November 30. 

The court heard that the complainant, Busani Dube of Pumula South, on September 24, while driving in Bulawayo at 11pm, stopped his vehicle along Connaught Avenue and Fort Street to answer a call.

Out of nowhere, a suspected sex worker barged into his vehicle without his permission, but he dropped her off before driving away. The two police officers, who were around the area followed his car and arrested him near Mpilo Central Hospital, where he wanted to pick Obert Mlalazi, who had knocked off from work.

They told him that he was under arrest for soliciting for purposes of prostitution. Mpofu allegedly got into Dube’s car and ordered him to drive back to town threatening to impound his vehicle.

The complainant begged Mpofu to allow him to drive to Emakhandeni so that he could give them $50 to buy his freedom. Mpofu allegedly did not accept the $50 offer and demanded $350. At around 12:15am the following day, the two allegedly put more pressure for the $350 bribe forcing the complainant to withdraw $300 from the ATM, which he gave to Mpofu, who had remained in his vehicle at that point.

At the time, Nkomazana was allegedly driving the cops’ car following Dube’s, which had Mlalazi and Mpofu. Mlalazi added $50 on top of the $300.

Nkomazana allegedly went on to demand more money, which he said was for the fuel they had used when he was following Dube’s vehicle and was given $10 before they drove away leaving Dube and Mlalazi. The total amount extorted is $360 and a report was made to the police leading to the two police officers’ arrest. Nothing was recovered. Newsday

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