South Africa

Cape Town border control police officers arrested for 'business robbery'

Cape Town border control police officers arrested for 'business robbery'

Four police officers attached to the national border control unit at Cape Town International Airport have been arrested for allegedly robbing Chinese-owned businesses.

Western Cape community safety MEC Albert Fritz said on Wednesday the officers were allegedly part of a robbery in Montague Gardens on Saturday.

“I welcome these arrests as they send a strong message against criminal conduct within the police services. Our officers are duty-bound to serve and protect all residing within our province. We cannot allow the force to be undermined by those who wish to cause harm or undermine safety in the province,” said Fritz.  

“This particular incident left members of the Chinese community feeling targeted by criminal elements and concerned about the involvement of police. We have previously seen similar incidents of Chinese business people being kidnapped and held at ransom.

“We must continue to ensure that measures, such as these arrests, are made as they send a strong message to would-be criminals targeting business people and members of the Chinese community.”

Fritz said another extortion syndicate that targeted Chinese businesses was bust in November.

“Previously, a syndicate of eight members were arrested, including the main kingpin,” he said.

“This related to five kidnappings and one attempted kidnapping of members of the Chinese business community. These incidents occurred from July to November 2020 and could result in more linkages in future. At present, all suspects are in custody. Their bail application is on January 22 2021. The state will oppose bail.”

Fritz said assured the Chinese business community that their safety was a priority.

“I wish to reassure members of the Chinese and business community that your safety is of the utmost importance to us,” he said.

“We need to encourage and support business in the province if we are to recover our economy. My departmental officials continue to engage in weekly steering committee meetings on business extortion in the province, and I am very pleased with the results and progress made to date.”