Cop charged for conning dagga farmers

MBABANE – A police officer has been arrested and charged after he allegedly conducted an ‘illegal raid’ where he conned dagga farmers in Maphalaleni on Saturday.

Police corruption

He has since been charged with theft by false pretences, impeccable police sources said. Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Wendy Hleta confirmed the matter. “Police are still investigating the matter. He is due to appear in court tomorrow (today),” the police spokesperson said.

The officer, Bongani ‘Mumba’ Dlamini, allegedly conned the farmers around E1 500. A well-placed source said: “The officer was on duty on Saturday night. He took a service R4 rifle and drove a police car to Maphalaleni purportedly to raid for dagga.

“He raided about three homesteads and managed to get E1 500. He demanded bribes from the illegal farmers, further threatening to arrest them if they refused. It seems as if the officer had inside information that the farmers had sold the herb and they had money,” the insider alleged.
Being known as an officer under the General Duty department might have proved Dlamini’s mission impossible because the farmers allegedly dialled 999 to report him, an insider said.

“The people knew him because it was not the first time he did that. They knew he was under the General Duty department, not the Anti Drug Unit. They furnished the 999 staff with all the information. The 999 officers reportedly called the Mbabane Police Station. Thereafter, his superiors in turn called the officer on his mobile phone,” the source alleged.

The suspect’s mission was reportedly cut short by the call from the superiors and he returned to the station, sources alleged. Insiders said the officer did not carry a search warrant as per the procedure when the police raid homes. “He was detained and formally charged on Saturday evening. He is currently behind bars and is due to appear before the court soon,” the source said. National Public Service and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU) President Quinton Dlamini condemned the act and added that it was not the first time such happened.

25/06/2013 02:30:00 BY SAMKELO NGWENYA

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