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‘Project Elephant’ nabs 2 more corrupt cops

Johannesburg - Western Cape police on Thursday said it had arrested two more police officers in the province as part of “Project Elephant” - an operation to expose and root out corrupt officers.

The latest arrests of two officers based at the Strand police station were made on Wednesday.

A 37-year-old sergeant was arrested at his home on two charges of corruption. “Two firearms not licensed in his name were found in his possession and were confiscated. He will face charges for the illegal possession thereof too,” said police spokesman Andre Traut.

On the same day, police arrested a 39-year-old sergeant at his office at the Strand police station. He also faces two charges of corruption and additional charges of possession of suspected stolen property after his house in Gordon's Bay was searched.

The officer could not provide an explanation as to why he was in possession of the inner plates of bullet proof vests, said Traut.

The two officers were expected to appear in the Strand Magistrate's Court on Friday. The arrests followed that of three other officers and two alleged drug dealers last week. Traut said police had initially started a probe into house robberies, business robberies and hijackings in Lwandle, Strand and Somerset West, but expanded the probe to include corruption within its ranks - dubbing it “Project Elephant”, which has so far lasted two years.

“Police management have reiterated their hard stance on corrupt police and it is hoped that the arrests will send a strong message to would be corrupt members,” said Traut.

He hinted that more arrests were imminent.

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