Ex-cop arrested for ‘cash for guns’ scam

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Copy of NM CRIMINAL6 THE MERCURY Lalitha Govender, 41, a former captain in charge of firearms at Umlazi police station.

Durban - Umlazi police have arrested a former policewoman for allegedly soliciting cash from people interested in buying “non-existent” guns.

Police say Lalitha Govender, 41, a former captain in charge of firearms at Umlazi police station, approached – and was approached by – people interested in buying firearms.

She would allegedly take the money from “clients”, but never delivered the firearms.

Details emerged in the Umlazi Magistrate’s Court yesterday when Govender appeared for a bail application. The State did not oppose it and Govender was released on R5 000 bail on condition that she did not interfere with State witnesses.

Govender faces five charges of corruption and one of theft. Police were alerted by someone who had allegedly paid for, but did not receive, a gun.

Affidavits from six complainants revealed how Govender collected cash ranging from R2 000 to R12 000, but her customers never received the firearms.

Magistrate Saaed Cadir described the charges Govender faced as “very serious”, saying she faced a long period of imprisonment should she be found guilty.

In her bail application, contained in an affidavit presented by her attorney, Arvin Singh, Govender said she had resigned from the police force. She did not indicate when she resigned but it is understood she resigned last month.

Govender handed herself over to police yesterday.

The matter was adjourned to September 21.

Police have urged people with information to contact investigating officer Colonel Kamlash Dalip-Singh on 082 556 8532 or 031 908 0084.

The Mercury

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