Tracking data leads to cops’ arrest

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Fahim Essack of Durban says he was robbed of R500 000 by metro police officers in Tshwane. Photo: Jacques Naude

Johannesburg - At 9pm last Tuesday, a metro police vehicle suddenly accelerates to 184km/h on the N1 highway near Hammanskraal.

But the speeding car isn’t heading to the scene of a crime; its occupants are allegedly about to commit a robbery.

Last week, The Star reported Fahim Essack’s accusations that two metro police had pulled him over for speeding and held him at gunpoint before stealing R550 000 from him.

It was Essack’s word against the two cops, but now tracking data from the unmarked BMW, seen by The Star, appears to fit with Essack’s story.

Shortly after the alleged robbery, the BMW left the scene, travelling at 236km/h.

On Friday, two Tshwane metro police officers were arrested over the robbery. The police are not saying what evidence prompted the arrest.

A source said it appeared someone had deleted the data on the vehicle for the night under consideration off their systems and that investigators had to retrieve the information from the central control.

What the tracking device appears to show is that just after 9pm on Tuesday, the metro police car was parked on the side of the N1 highway just south of the R327 off-ramp, presumably to monitor traffic.

It then appears to speed up to 184km/h, which correlates with it chasing down Essack, who was stopped for going 169km/h. Essack says the two officers searched his car and found over half a million rand in the boot.

He was carrying large amounts of cash from his food and rice business in Zimbabwe and Musina, and had been visiting clients in the area and collecting money they owed him.

The metro police cops told Essack they were arresting him for money laundering and taking him to Hammanskraal police station.

“When (the officer) saw there was money, he called his partner, and they said they needed to get the other units involved – the money laundering units,” said Essack.

He said one officer got into the car with him, while the other followed in the police car.

The tracking system appears to show that at exactly 10pm, the metro police car again pulls over on the side of the N1 next to a board announcing the Hammanskraal Ramp Plaza in 3km.

They are there for eight minutes. This is the time that Essack says the metro police officers held him at gunpoint and demanded half the money he had.

“The other officer takes out a gun, and he tells me: ‘Now shut the f*** up and do what we asked you, otherwise we will shoot you and throw you into the bush’,” he said.

“Under those circumstances, I had no option.I had to get into my car and drive off.”

The tracking system seems to show the metro police car then doing a U-turn across the highway, and quickly gaining speed, reaching a speed of 236km/h as they pass the spot where they were waiting for cars just an hour earlier.

Entering the CBD, the car is recorded still going 192km/h. Driving along Kgosi Mampuru Street, it’s still going at 127km/h. It then turns and parks in a parking lot off Boom Street.

SAPS spokeswoman Captain Augustinah Selepe said on Sunday that two metro officers, aged 32 and 28, were arrested in Gezina on Friday night.

theresa.taylor@inl.co.za

The Star


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