Hawks members sent packing over alleged links to drug lords
DURBAN - FOUR members of the Hawks narcotics unit, including the head of the team, were sent packing this week amid allegations that they were protecting drug lords.
The members were moved to the Hawks Commercial Crime Unit on Monday pending an investigation into the allegations. The matter is also being looked into by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).
“I can confirm that there was a meeting with our investigators, but we do not have an open docket. Once we have a briefing from the investigators, we will make a decision regarding an investigation,” said Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini.
Last week, the Sunday Tribune reported that unit head, Lieutenant-Colonel Gavin Jacob, had been at the centre of an investigation after a crime intelligence report revealed that he and other police officials within his unit had allegedly been colluding with members of the Bloods gang.
The gang operates largely in the Phoenix area and the kingpins, brothers Kalvin and Kevin Periasamy, were arrested during a drug raid in January.
The report also detailed how more than 131 cases against the members were withdrawn or not prosecuted over the past seven years.
Last week, Jacob denied the allegations and said he welcomed the investigation into himself and his team.
He was also accused of having a close relationship with the brothers, but he denied this. He said only Kalvin Periasamy had become a friend of his because he had been an informer since 2016.
“This is a conspiracy to tarnish my reputation and defame me. A certain drug dealer, along with corrupt police officials, are trying to have me removed from my position as they view me as a threat,” Jacob said.
National Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the allegations were being examined at national level.