Two police officers attached to the Bellville South crime prevention unit are facing extortion charges after allegedly attempting to squeeze R4000 out of a motorist they stopped and accused of performing an indecent act with a minor.
The officers, Warrant Officer Steven Jacobs and Constable Denzil Abrahams, are currently on trial in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court. The two officers were arrested during a sting operation set up by police in 2017.
Three years ago, in Voortrekker Road in Bellville, the pair of officers allegedly pulled up alongside motorist Darren Thomas’ car and threatened to arrest him “for allegedly performing an indecent act with a minor“, according to the charge sheet obtained by TimesLIVE.
The other occupant of the car was 16-years-old at the time. The officers allegedly commanded Thomas to pay them R4000.
Jacobs and Abrahams searched Thomas’ car and when Thomas said that he had no money to pay them, the officers took five drum mics from the boot of the car, according to TimesLIVE.
The officers allegedly took photos of Thomas and the 16-year-old with their cellphones and threatened to distribute the material on social media, promising to accuse them of performing an indecent act if Thomas does not pay them, says TimesLIVE.
Abrahams and Jacobs told Thomas that they would call him on April 25, 2017 in order to set up a rendezvous for the exchange of the money. Thomas was instructed to bring R4000 and in return, the officers would give back the drum mics and not blackmail him with the photographs they took.
Thomas turned to the police for help and a sting operation was set up.
“On April 29 2017, the complainant received a call from the accused … instructing him to meet them at Eskom at 4pm on May 1, 2017. An operation was set up by the investigating officer for the date and time indicated by the accused,” reads the charge sheet, according to TimesLIVE.
“The R4000 trap money was handed over to the complainant with specific instructions as to how the trap operation would be conducted. He went to meet [Jacobs and Abrahams] at Leisure Land Caravans in Robert Sobukwe Road. The complainant met with [Jacobs and Abrahams] where he paid them with the R4000 trap money.”
Moments later, Jacobs and Abrahams were arrested. The police stopped the vehicle they were travelling in and searched it.
The arresting police officers identified themselves and explained why they were stopping the vehicle, which contained four occupants including Jacobs and Abrahams. The occupants were instructed to vacate the vehicle and during the ensuing search, police officers found R100 notes beneath the passenger seat, as per the charge sheet, according to TimesLIVE.
“The investigating officer took a picture of the money and counted the money in front of the four occupants. The amount was R4000 in total. The accused were also shown the photocopies of the monies and the monies recovered and the photocopies of the monies were placed in forensic bag …”