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Johannesburg - A Limpopo police captain has been arrested for allegedly illegally selling guns meant to be destroyed to the public.
Police strongly suspect some of the weapons were sold to criminals by one of their own. The 41-year-old officer, stationed in Polokwane, had been placed in charge of an SAPS storeroom.
“This is where we store all those illegal firearms that we recover during operations and those that people volunteer to hand in. He then illegally sells them to the public, even before he registers them in our books,” said Limpopo police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.
He said one of the vintage firearms, yet to be deactivated, had been registered under the name of a close relative of the policeman. The Star understands from a source close to the investigation that the policeman collected the vintage gun as an antique for his wife.
“The wife is also a police captain. She is being investigated and she might soon be arrested,” said the source.
The insider said the vintage firearm previously belonged to Jack Botes, a former mayor of Polokwane.
Mulaudzi said the policeman was arrested on Friday.
“The captain’s activities were exposed after members of the public (enquired about) their firearms which they found were no longer at the police nor registered as (having) been handed in.”
An investigation found that three firearms went missing and were believed to be in criminals’ hands.
“The possibility of more of (these) firearms being sold cannot be ruled out,” he said.
The suspect was expected to appear in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court today on charges of corruption and fraud, said Mulaudzi.