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Three men who are allegedly part of a syndicate that made racketeering, attempted murder, armed robbery and corruption of police their game have been nabbed.
Two of them, twin brothers aged 24, were arrested at Sandton’s Michelangelo Hotel and in Paulshof respectively.
A third man was arrested in Emmarentia, while police are hoping to track down more of the gang.
Police at Hartbeespoort Dam started investigating the men, who cannot be named as they have yet to appear in court, in April 2011 following threats received by businessman Naeem Cassim.
According to an affidavit by the investigating officer, the men were involved in armed robbery, attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, malicious damage to property and kidnapping.
In the investigations, the policeman said, he faced numerous “apparently intentional obstacles”. This included being called in by senior officers who asked about the case while the suspects’ lawyer was present.
The same lawyer also allegedly threatened him. He said his seniors’ constant questioning had led him to investigate the case in a “clandestine” manner.
Because of the alleged corruption, Cassim turned to Paul O’Sullivan and Associates to help with the matter.
Cassim’s trouble with the men began when the twins’ father bought groceries worth R38 000 from Cassim’s store in Brits. They allegedly never paid for the goods and the men started arguing over the debt.
The affidavit said that after a series of smses were sent, Cassim said a “mob” of men with guns had surrounded his father’s house and allegedly held the family hostage, demanding that Cassim come to the house.
He told them to meet him at his business, where security guards were present. The twins demanded that he apologise to their father, which he said he would do as soon as they settled the debt. They agreed .
Cassim allegedly received another call soon afterwards warning him that the men had changed their minds and were “coming” for him.
He locked himself in his house in the Pecanwood Golf Estate at Hartbeespoort Dam with guards from his security company outside.
O’Sullivan claimed “there was big police corruption involved and that several dockets had been opened”.