Johannesburg - A popular Joburg gun shop is at the centre of a police investigation into allegations of large-scale police corruption, bribery and creating fraudulent export permits.
An employee who worked at the gun dealer alleges that she paid bribes to police officers and lied to clients as part of her job as a sales manager.
She cannot be named as she is a State witness.
The Star has learnt that the Hawks and forensic consultants Paul O’Sullivan and Associates have been investigating Dave Sheer Guns for over a year, and numerous State witnesses have made statements.
The allegations include the alleged bribery of numerous police officers, forging and paying for permits to export weapons, making up serial numbers for weapons and swopping the numbers on the firearms registry, buying and selling stolen ammunition, and selling customers second-hand weapons while claiming they were brand new. No arrests have been made.
The whistle-blower, who worked at Dave Sheer Guns for four years, described a gun shop that became so greedy, it allegedly started selling weapons and ammunition it didn’t have.
To cover up and keep the cash flowing in, police were allegedly bribed to create serial numbers, and weapons were brought into and taken out of the country to keep supply flowing.
This week, Dave Sheer Guns hit back, getting a court order to raid the whistle-blower’s house to recover documentation they say she stole from them.
In the Anton Pillar Application (the application’s legal reference) which was granted in the Johannesburg High Court, a manager at Dave Sheer, Efthimios Demis Karamitsos, said in an affidavit that their business is highly competitive and it is suspected that there is a “disingenuous campaign” to besmirch Dave Sheer Guns’ reputation in the marketplace.
They asked for the court order to ascertain whether any of its staff had fed confidential information to a suspected competitor, and they did a polygraph test on their employees.
At this point, another employee, a receptionist, said she was paid R5 000 by the sales manager to give her documentation on the exportation of firearms to a company in Georgia.
The affidavit says the shop intends laying charges of theft and corruption against the sales manager.
The Star understands the documentation was given to police as part of their probe.
Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko would not confirm whether they were investigating Dave Sheer Guns.
Paul O’Sullivan said they were not at liberty to discuss the case, but he intended pursuing this investigation until justice was done.
“South Africans need to feel safe in our country, and this cannot be the case when you have police officers - some of them senior officers - selling firearm licences to gangsters, and of supplying export permits for weapons that find their way into the hands of terrorist organisations,” he added. “We have no doubt that these people will be brought to justice.”
Update: Comments on this article have been closed to protect the identiity of the witness.