Hawks detain cop accused of extortion

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Johannesburg -

The Hawks have arrested a police officer who allegedly demanded money from a Joburg businessman, claiming it was for his protection.

The businessman claimed he had paid the policeman more than R22 000, ostensibly to ensure he did not get arrested.

On Thursday morning, the Hawks pounced on Captain Tumelo Sena as he arrived at work.

Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko said Sena appeared at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday and is facing a charge of corruption.

He said the Hawks had conducted preliminary investigations after they were alerted about allegations of corruption against Sena.

“Following the investigations, we were very convinced that this member was involved in corrupt activity. Our preliminary investigations revealed that he received R22 900 from a businessman,” Ramaloko said.

He said the Hawks then applied for a warrant of arrest on Wednesday, and a magistrate at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court granted it. “On Thursday morning, we executed it (warrant of arrest).”

The 53-year-old police officer from Langlaagte police station allegedly demanded money from a businessman who runs a truck-repair firm.

The businessman claimed Sena started harassing him and demanding money for his protection after he was arrested for allegedly holding a man at gunpoint.

He added that after the charges had been dropped, because the case was too weak, Sena started coming to his business and demanded money, saying it was for his protection.

Bank statements showed electronic payments ranging between R500 and R1 000 were allegedly made between November 2012 and last month.

The businessman sometimes made electronic payments twice a day, the statements showed.

In a letter the businessman wrote to an SAPS provincial commissioner this week, claiming Sena harassed him, he said: ”I could not take this any more and approached the Hawks directly to try and help me. The captain phones me every single day, including Saturdays and Sundays, demanding money.”

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